Recusancy seems to have been weak in Hull in
the late 16th and early 17th centuries, and it is
said to have been confined to a handful of merchant
families. (fn. 1) The number of recusants discovered during
this period was never many more than a dozen and
often much less, (fn. 2) and it is not until the later 18th
century that an increase in number is apparent.
Archbishop Herring reported no Catholics in 1743, (fn. 3)
but in 1767 there were 33 and in 1780 78–16 in St.
Mary's parish, 43 in Holy Trinity, and 19 in Sculcoates. (fn. 4)
Anti-Catholic feeling aroused by the Gordon riots
in 1780 resulted in the destruction of the Roman
Catholic chapel in Posterngate: this is the first
known Roman Catholic chapel in the town and in
1782 neighbouring householders said that it had
been built three or four years earlier. (fn. 5) Various
temporary premises were subsequently used and the
congregation in the 1790s is said to have been no
more than 30. (fn. 6) A new chapel was eventually built
by Abbé Pierre Francois Foucher, a French refugee
who was pastor in Hull from 1798 to 1820: (fn. 7) this was
in North Street, off Prospect Street, (fn. 8) but is presumably the chapel registered in 'Chapel Street' in
1799. (fn. 9)
This chapel served until 1829 when the large
church of St. Charles Borromeo was built in Jarratt
Street. The Roman Catholic population of Hull was
now considerable and the average attendance at
St. Charles's was said to be 450 in 1834. (fn. 10) By 1850
the number of Roman Catholics was estimated at
6,500; if this was too high there were nevertheless
almost 3,000 Irish-born inhabitants in 1851 (fn. 11) and
on the day of the 'Religious Census' that year the
attendances at the church were put at 1,050 in the
morning and 600 in the evening. (fn. 12)
During the later 19th century three more churches
were built, one of them to meet the needs of the growing population on the east side of the River Hull.
A further ten have been added in the 20th century,
spread all over the city, and several missions served
some of the most recent suburban areas in 1966.
The convent of the Sisters of Mercy, founded in
1857, stood in Anlaby Road, near the end of Convent
Lane; it was rebuilt c. 1870. (fn. 13) The convent moved
to a new building in Southcoates Lane, opened in
1931. (fn. 14) A second convent, in Park Grove, was
established by the Canonesses Regular of St.
Augustine, who came to Hull from Versailles after
the promulgation of anti-clerical legislation in France
in 1904. (fn. 15) The convent of St. Anthony, in Beverley
Road, was established in 1899, in an existing building, again by the Sisters of Mercy. Additions were
made to the building in 1916, 1925, and 1931. (fn. 16)
The Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, who
had been in Hull since the 1870s, opened their boys'
home in Queen's Road in 1909. (fn. 17)
One Roman Catholic institution in Hull is Anchor
House, a sailors' hostel in Anlaby Road. The Hull
branch of the Apostleship of the Sea was founded
in 1931, and it conducted a sailors' club successively
in Lee Smith Street and Charles Street. The present
premises in Anlaby Road were first occupied in
1951, and extensions were opened in 1957 and 1965. (fn. 18)
In the list of places of worship below, which was
compiled in 1966, the sources cited by numbers are
1. General Register Office, Somerset House,
2. Ibid. Worship Returns.
3. I. N. Goldthorpe, 'Architecture of the Victorian
Era of Kingston upon Hull' (Hull School of Architecture thesis, 1955).
4. Catholic Directory, 1966.
5. Directories of Hull.
6. Hadley, Hist. Hull.
7. Sheahan, Hist. Hull.
8. Tickell, Hist. Hull.
Annandale Road, St. Stephen's Church: opened
Boulevard, St. Wilfrid's Church: registered in
1896. (1) The church was destroyed by bombing in
1941 and a temporary building was registered in
1949. (1) This was replaced by a new church in 1956
(date on building).
Church Lane: used in 1788.(6)
Cottingham Road, Church of Our Lady of Lourdes
and St. Peter Chanel: registered as the Church of
Our Lady in 1925, and replaced by the Church of
Our Lady and St. Peter in 1957. (1)
First Avenue: a mission, served from Hall Road,
in use in 1966. (4)
Hall Road, Church of the Holy Name: registered
in 1933. (1)
Hopewell Road, St. Bede's Church: registered in
Jarratt Street, Church of St. Charles Borromeo:
built in 1828–9; (7) 650 sittings (H.O. 129/24/519).
It apparently replaced North Street, from which a
painting was taken to the new church.(7) The work
of 1828–9 was under the supervision of John Earle,
the younger (Hull Advertiser, 31 July 1829). The
building was refitted both inside and out in 1835 by
J. J. Scoles, architect (Rockingham, 12 July 1834),
and much altered in 1894 by Smith, Brodrick, &
Lowther (City Architect's Dept., drawing no. 347,
1894; The Builder, 26 Jan. 1895) (see plate facing
p. 315). The entrance front, facing north, is of
rendered brick with cast-stone dressings and dates
largely from 1835. It has rusticated quoins and is
five bays wide, the three central bays being set
forward and crowned by a pediment with a cross at
its apex; in the tympanum are the arms of St.
Charles Borromeo. The central Corinthian portico
was added in 1894, the original doorway having been
surmounted by a segmental pediment, supported
on consoles. Flanking the entrance are niches containing statues with small windows below them. At
clerestory level three windows alternate with elongated consoles. The two recessed side bays have
round-headed doorways; at their impost level a
continuous band of guilloche ornament is taken
across the whole facade. The original interior was a
plain rectangle on a north-south axis with a gallery
across the north end. The range of clerestory
windows, alternating with plaster panels bearing the
arms of St. Charles, the reredos, flanked by paired
Greek Ionic columns, and the gallery all date from
1835. The alterations of 1894 included much of the
elaborate enrichment and the addition of narrow
aisles, the original side walls of the church being
pierced to form aisle arcades. (fn. 19)
Leadenhall Square: registered in 1793(2) and still
used in 1796.(8)
Lee Smith Street, St. Francis's Church: registered
in 1964(1) in a temporary building. It replaced a
mission first mentioned in 1929,(5) built on the site
of the Lutheran mission.
Mill Street, St. Patrick's Chapel: a school-chapel,
registered in 1871 and replaced by Spring Street in
1906.(1) The school remained in 1966.
North Church Side: a room 'on the north side of
the High Church' was used after the destruction of
North Street: built by Abbé Foucher (pastor
1798–1820) (Cath. Rec. Soc. xxxii. 133). It was
apparently replaced by Jarratt Street in 1829 and
was demolished before 1866.(7) It was presumably
this chapel that was registered in 1799, when it was
said to be in Chapel Street.(2)
Pickering Road, St. Joseph's Church: registered in
1948.(1) It replaced a chapel first mentioned in
Posterngate: said to have been built shortly before
1780, when it was destroyed during the Gordon
riots (see above). It was rebuilt as a Jewish synagogue
(see p. 333).
Queen's Road, St. Vincent's Church: registered
in 1905. A new church was opened in 1933. (1)
Scott Street, St. Gregory's School: opened in 1893
with a chapel over the school, but used as a chapel
for only a few years (ex inf. Mr. J. Lawson).
Southcoates Lane, Church of the Sacred Heart:
registered in 1929.(1)
Spring Bank West, Church of Corpus Christi:
registered in 1932. (1)
Spring Street, St. Patrick's Church: registered in
1906, replacing Mill Street. (1)
Wansbeck Road, Church of St. Thérèse of Lisieux:
registered in 1962.(1) It is built of red brick with
much glass and timber.
Wilton Street, St. Mary's Church: a school-chapel
was opened in 1856;(7) 600 sittings.(5) The adjoining church was built in 1891.(1) It was designed
by R. G. Smith and C. Brodrick(3) in the Gothic
Wold Road (School): a mission, served from
Spring Bank West, in use in 1966.(4)