In 1592 Francis,
son of Edward Forester of Watling Street, was
admitted to the English College in Rome, but
only four papists were recorded in 1676 (fn. 74) and none
c. 1693 (fn. 75) or in 1772. (fn. 76) At the French Revolution
George Forester accommodated French priests at
Dothill (fn. 77) and in 1806 a Roman Catholic chapel at
Dothill Lodge was registered by its priest Stephen
LeMaître. (fn. 78) In 1834 there was a temporary chapel
behind the Duke's Head in New Street, and soon
afterwards it moved to a nearby shop. (fn. 79) A new
church opened in 1838 on the east side of Mill
Bank. In 1851 average attendance was put at
300, (fn. 80) a numerical strength attributable to an
influx of Irish workers since the late 18th century.
The church, dedicated to St. Patrick, was replaced in 1906 by a new one in King Street built of
stone and brick in the Gothic style. The old
church served many uses before its demolition c.
1971, including those of a Catholic parish hall, a
roller-skating rink, a cinema, a training centre for
the unemployed, and a Catholic schoolroom. A
convent of Sisters of St. Louis moved from Much
Wenlock to Haygate Road in 1978 and undertook
teaching, social work, and nursing for the Roman
Catholic parish. In 1981 the parish served c.
1,800 people, some of whom lived as far north as
Prees, and up to 800 attended Sunday mass. (fn. 81)
T.S.A.S. 2nd ser. i. 85.
||W.S.L., H.M. 36.
||L.J.R.O., B/V/5, visit. return.
||Baxter, 'Wellington', 80-1.
||S.R.O., q. sess. files, 7/32.
||Acct. based on: S.R.O. 4050/1, p. 8; /2, pp. 5-6.
||P.R.O., HO 129/365, no. 18.
||Inf. from the Revd. M. Wagstaffe.