William, Lord Vaux of Harrowden, who had
been arrested for harbouring Edmund Campion,
was allowed to live from 1583 at Hackney and
remained there, apart from a further period of
imprisonment at the time of the Armada, until
1590. He rented a house from Lord Mordaunt,
where several priests stayed and c. 18 people
attended a mass in 1584; the conspirator Anthony Babington, one of whose servants was
exorcised there, was a visitor in 1585. (fn. 24) Those
indicted for recusancy between 1583 and 1587
included Lord Vaux, his sons Henry and
George, Andrew Mallory, gentleman, and their
retainers. They probably formed more than one
household, since some were also described as of
Tottenham. (fn. 25)
Recusants in 1609 were Sir Rhys Griffin of
Hackney (fn. 26) and in 1610 Isabel Oliver, in 1615
William Deane, and in 1617 and 1619 Richard
Abington, gentleman, and his wife, all late of
Hackney. (fn. 27) Samuel Hodgson, who had been
ordained in Lisbon, joined the Jesuit mission to
England in 1761 and died at Homerton in 1766. (fn. 28)
Fourteen papist families were reported c. 1790;
they had no place of worship, whereas protestant
dissenters had four meeting houses. (fn. 29)
Roman Catholics could attend the chapel of St.
Mary, Moorfields, from 1820. (fn. 30) In Hackney
their first services were probably held in 1843,
a mission was established in 1847, and the
church of St. John the Baptist opened near the
southern end of Mare Street in 1848. In Kingsland a mission was started in 1854 and the
church of Our Lady and St. Joseph, built over
a school at the corner of Culford and Tottenham
roads, opened in 1856. In Clapton a mission was
started in 1862 and the church of St. Scholastica
opened as part of a school in Kenninghall Road.
In Homerton a mission was started in 1873 and
used a school chapel until the church of the
Immaculate Heart and St. Dominic, Ballance
Road, opened in 1875. The church served Hackney Wick, a poor district where its success was
ascribed in 1903 to the presence of Irish or
Italian immigrants. (fn. 31) The four Roman Catholic
churches had a Sunday attendance of 1,801 in
1886 and 3,312 in 1903, both of which figures
were much smaller than those for Congregationalists, Methodists, or Baptists. (fn. 32) Kingsland's
church was replaced by one nearby in Ball's
Pond Road, Islington, in 1964, and another
church in Clapton, St. Jude's, opened in 1965. (fn. 33)
The churches, followed by convents and many
charitable institutions, are described below.
The following abbreviations are used: consecr.,
consecrated; demol., demolished; evg., evening;
reg., registered; temp., temporary. Attendance
figs. 1886 are from Brit. Weekly, 19 Nov. 1886,
4b; figs. 1903 are from Mudie-Smith, Rel. Life, 66.
St. John The Baptist, King Edward's Rd. (fn. 34)
Svces. said to have begun as evg. mtgs. in a room
and later held by Revd. John Rolfe in old
brewery behind Black Boys in Elsdale Street.
Spaniard John Lecuona was missionary priest
when ch. built on N. side of King Edward's Rd.
near the Triangle at rd.'s junction with Mare
Street. (fn. 35) Attendance 1851: 300 a.m., 150 evg.; (fn. 36)
1886: 191 a.m., 175 evg.; 1903: 648 a.m., 128
evg. Bldg. of Kentish rag with Caen stone
dressings in Early Eng. style, seating c. 300, by
W. W. Wardell 1847-8: chancel, nave, N. aisle
and chapel, tower with spire; S. aisle and chapel
added later. Consecr. 1899. Served Hackney
union and workho. at Bethnal Green 1863. After
war damage, svces. on ground floor of no. 14
Gore Street, reg. 1945, and chapel of St.
Joseph's hospice, Mare Street, reg. 1947. (fn. 37) New
ch. in King Edward's Rd. reg. 1956: brownbrick bldg. with pantiled roof, seating c. 300, by
Peter Lamprell-Jarrett. (fn. 38)
Our Lady and St. Joseph, Kingsland. (fn. 39) Mission begun by Wm. Lockhart, Father of Charity,
1854. Temp. chapel opened at no. 83 Culford
Rd. North 1855. Ch. on S. side of Tottenham
Grove (later Rd.) near E. corner with Culford
Rd. reg. 1856. (fn. 40) Attendance 1886: 428 a.m., 220
evg.; 1903: 912 a.m., 438 evg. Bldg. by A. W.
N. Pugin: aisleless ch., reached by external
staircase, over sch. and hall. (fn. 41) Served Hoxton
1858, Shoreditch workho. 1863. Moved to no.
100A Ball's Pond Rd., Islington, 1964. (fn. 42)
St. Scholastica, Kenninghall Rd., Clapton. (fn. 43)
Svces. begun by Fathers of Charity (Rosminians) from Kingsland in libr. hall of St.
Scholastica's Retreat (q.v.), on part of site given
by Miss Eliz. Harrison, 1862. Reg. 1870. (fn. 44) Ch.
intended to form N. side of rectangular gdn.,
with Retreat to E. and W. and Kenninghall Rd.
to S. Land and pastoral charge transferred to
diocese 1868. Sch. chapel to be built instead of
ch., with presbytery for first full-time par. priest,
1879. Reg. as temp. ch., at NE. corner of gdn.,
1887: (fn. 45) plain bldg. with rectangular windows.
Attendance 1886: 128 a.m., 140 evg.; 1903: 272
a.m., 127 evg. Reg. again 1963. (fn. 46) Permanent ch.
built next to new sch. after demol. of Retreat.
Bldg. of pale grey brick and concrete in contemporary style, seating 400, by J. E. Sterrett,
consecr. 1987. Sch. chapel and old sch. bldgs.
used as par. centre 1988.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary and St.
Dominic, Homerton. (fn. 47) Mission begun by Geo.
Akers, asst. priest at St. John the Baptist, at no.
21 Sidney Terr., Sidney Rd., 1873. Temp. sch.
chapel opened 1873, reg. 1874. (fn. 48) Ch. on S. side
of Ballance Rd., at corner of Sidney (later Kenworthy) Rd., reg. 1877. (fn. 49) Attendance 1886: 211
a.m., 308 evg.; 1903: 646 a.m., 141 evg. Bldg. of
yellow brick with red-brick dressings in Romanesque style by A. E. Buckler 1875-7: basilican
plan, with apse, aisled and clerestoried nave,
round-headed windows, campanile, not oriented. Consecr. 1884. Damaged in Second
World War; svces. in hall of convent of Sacred
Heart (q.v.) 1951; ch. restored after 1952. (fn. 50)
St. Jude, Clapton Pk. Yellow-brick former
tabernacle, S. side of Blurton Rd., reg. 1965. (fn. 51)
St. Scholastica's Retreat (later home) (fn. 52) was
founded by Wm. Harrison and sis. Eliz., out of
est. of their bro. Rob. (d. 1852) and his wid.
Charlotte Scholastica, for 40 poor Caths. aged
60 or more from gentry, professions, or commerce. Each man or woman had self-contained
residence in hos. forming E. and W. sides of gdn.
on N. side of London (later Kenninghall) Rd.
Bldgs. in Gothic style by E. W. Pugin begun
1861, partly occupied by 1863, when under
spiritual care of Fathers of Charity. (fn. 53) Demol.
1972, but Retreat survived as home for aged
gentlefolk in Princes Risborough (Bucks.)
1988. (fn. 54)
Little Sisters of the Poor were in Queen's (later
Queensbridge) Rd., Dalston, before moving to
Manor Rd., Stoke Newington, where they built
St. Ann's Ho. 1878. (fn. 55)
Sisters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and
Mary (fn. 56) moved from Stratford to Sidney Ho.,
Homerton, 1872. Chapel and orphanage opened
1883, when ho. was at SE. end of new Hassett
Rd. (fn. 57) Orphanage closed during Second World
War. Hostel for 60 women opened 1948 and
closed 1978, whereupon hostel and chapel were
replaced by Chigwell Ct. old people's flats. Old
ho. altered to inc. convent chapel, in use 1988,
when St. Anne's wing was on lease to priests of
order of St. Camillus, who cared for sick.
Ursulines of Jesus were at no. 164 Culford Rd.,
De Beauvoir Town, by 1897 until c. 1959. (fn. 58)
The Institute of Our Lady of the Retreat in
the Cenacle occupied convent at no. 63 Stamford
Hill by 1900. (fn. 59) Chapel reg. from 1905 to 1941. (fn. 60)
One of order's four Eng. convents, where retreats held and religious instruction given.
Replaced by ho. in West Heath Rd., Hampstead,
by 1946. (fn. 61)
Irish Sisters of Charity came to Mare Street,
where anonymous donor gave them Cambridge
Lodge Villas, 1900. Originally intending to supply home nursing for the dying, they opened St.
Joseph's hospice in 1905; hospice was one of first
of its kind, although preceded by Anglican hostel
in Clapham and by St. Luke's hosp., which
settled finally in Bayswater. Sisters occupied
only no. 6 in 1905 but whole row by 1911.
Private nursing home advertised from 1930s
until c. 1951 was later absorbed into hospice. Old
bldgs. replaced by Our Lady wing 1957, St.
Patrick's wing 1965, new convent 1969, Heenan
House 1977, and Norfolk wing, containing study
and day centres, 1984. Hospice, which retained
home care svce., had 108 beds 1988. (fn. 62)
Servite Sisters, who managed Our Lady's
Convent high sch. at nos. 14 and 16 (later 6 to
16) Amhurst Pk. from c. 1931, came from St.
Mary's priory, St. Ann's Rd., Tottenham. (fn. 63)
Little Sisters of the Assumption, nursing sisters of the poor, occupied no. 11 Amhurst Pk.
from c. 1946 to c. 1960. Ursulines of Jesus had
taken their place by 1965. (fn. 64)