Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/113

This page needs to be proofread.




Mayne, Cuthbert, Blessed, martyr, 1). at Youl- ston, near Barnstaple, Devonshire (baptized 20 Marcli, 154:5-4); d. at Launceston, Cornwall, 29 Nov., 1577. He was the son of William Mayne; his uncle was a schismatical priest, who had him educated at Barn- staple Grammar School, and he was ordained a Prot- estant minister at the age of eighteen or nineteen. He then went to Oxford, first to St. Alban's Hall, then to St. John's College, where he took the degree of M. A. in 1570. He there made the aetjuaintance of Blessed Edmund Campion, (iregory Martin, the controver- sialist, Humphrey Ely, Henry Shaw, Thomas Bram- ston, O.S.B., Henry Holland, Jonas Meredith, Roland Russell, and William Wiggs. The above list shows how strong a Catholic leaven was still working at t)xford. Late in 1570 a letter from Gregory Martin to Blessed Cuthbert fell into the Bishop of London's hands. He at once sent a pursuivant to arrest Blessed Cuthbert and others mentioned in the letter. Blessed Cuthbert was in the country, and being warned by Blessed Thomas Ford, he evaded arrest by going to Cornwall, whence he arrived at Douai in 1578. Having become reconciled to the C'hurch, he was ortlained in 1575; in Feb., 1575-6 he took the degree of S.T.B. at Douai University; and on 24 April, 1576 he left for the English mission in the company of Blessed John Payne. Blessed Cuthbert took up his abode with the future confessor, Francis Tregian, of Golden, in St. Probus's parish, Cornwall. This gentleman suffered imprisonment and loss of possessions for this honour done him by our martyr. At his house our martyr was arrested 8 June, 1.577, by the high sheriff, Gren- ville, who was knighted for the capture. He was brought to trial in September; meanwhile his impris- onment was of the harshest order. His indictment under statutes of 1 and 1.3 Elizabeth was under five counts: first, that he had obtained from the Roman See a "faculty", containing absolution of the Cjueen's subjects; second, that he had published the .same at Golden; third, that he had taught the ecclesiastical authority of the pope in Launceston Gaol; fourth, that he had brought into the kingdom an Agnus Dei and had delivered the same to Mr. Tregian ; fifth, that he had said Mass.

As to the first and second counts, the martyr showed that the suppo.sed "faculty" was merely a copy printed at Douai of an announcement of the Jubilee of 1575, and that its application having expired with the end of the jubilee, he certainly had not puljli.shed it either at Golden or elsewhere. As to the third count, he maintained that he had said nothing definite on the subject to the three illiterate witnesses who asserted the contrary. As to the fourth count, he urged that the fact that he was wearing an Agnus Dei at the time of his arrest was no evidence that he had brought it into the kingdom or delivered it to Mr. Tregian. As to the fifth count, he contended that the finding of a Missal, a chalice, and vestments in his room did not prove that he had said Mass.

Nevertheless the jury found him guilty of high treason on all counts, and he was sentenced accord- ingly. His execution was delayed because one of the judges, Jeffries, altered his mind after sentence and sent a report to the Privy Council. They submitted the case to the whole Bench of Judges, which was divided in opinion, though tlie weight of authority inclined to JefTries's view. Nevertheless, for motives of policy, the C^ouncil ordered the execution to pro- ceed. On the night of 27 November his cell was seen by the other prisoners to be full of a strange bright light. The details of his martyrdom must be sought in the works hereinafter cited. It is enough to say that all agree that he was insensible, or almost so, when he was disembowelled. A rough portrait of the martyr still exists; and portions of his skull are in various places, the largest being in the Carmelite Convent, Lanherne, Cornwall,

Camm, Lives of the English Martyrs, II (London, 1905), 204- 222, 656; Pollen, Cardinal Alien\^ Briefe Historie (London, 1908), 104-110; Cooper in Diet. Nat. Biog., s. v.; Challoner, Memoirs of Missionary Priests, I; Gillow, Bibl. Diet. Eng. Cath., s. v.; Dasent. Aets of the Privy Council (London, 1890- 1907), IX. 375, 390; X, 6. 7, 85.

John B. Waxnewright.

Majmooth College, The National College of Saint Patrick, at Maynooth in County Kildare, about twelve miles from Dulilin, founded in the year 1795. Ireland at that date still had her own Parliament; and, although Catholics could not sit in it, the spirit of tol- eration and liberty which had swept over the United States and France could not be excluded from its debates. Several relaxations had already been granted in the application of the penal laws, and it is to the credit of Irish Protestants that during their short period of Parliamentary liberty (1782-1801), they should have entered so heartily on the path of national brotherhood, and have given to the world two such illustrious names as Edmund Burke and Henry Grat- tan. It was to these two men, more than to any statesmen of their time, that the foundation of May- nooth College may be ascribed. Other circumstances were also favourable. On the one hand, the pro- gramme of the " United Irishmen" (1798) proclaimed the doctrine of universal toleration and liberty of eon- science. On the other hand, the British Government was glad of an opportunity to withdraw young Irish ecclesiastics as far as possible from the revolutionary influences to which they were exposed on the Conti- nent. Moreover, soldiers were needed at a time when war was raging or threatening on all sides ; and it had become necessary to conciliate the class from amongst whom the best Irish soldiers could be recruited.

In 1794 a memorial was presented to the Irish Vice- roy by Dr. Troy, Archbishop of Dublin, on behalf of all" the Catholic prelates of Ireland. This memorial set forth that the Roman Catholic clergy of Ireland had never been charged with disaffection to the State or irregularity in their conduct; that, on the contrary, they had been complimented more than once for incul- cating obedience to the laws and veneration for His Majesty's royal person and government. It was then pointed out that the foreign colleges, in which about 400 students were educated for the Irish mission, had been closed, and their funds confiscated; and that, even had they remained open, it would no longer be safe to send Irish students abroad, "lest they should be contaminated with the contagion of sedition and infidelity" and thus become the means of introducing into Ireland the pernicious maxims of a licentious phil- osophy. The memorial was favourably received, and, in the following year Mr. Pelhain, the Secretary of State, introduced his Bill for the foundation of a Catholic college. The Bill passed rapidly through all its stages and received the royal assent on 5 June, 1795. The management of the institution was given to a Board of Trustees who were to appoint all the offi- cers, the president, masters, fellows, and scholars; to fix their salaries and make all necessary by-laws, rules, and statutes. No Catholic could act as trustee, or fill any other office, or be admitted as a si mlfnt , wlio did not first take the oath of allegiancr for Catholics in the thirteenth and fourtrcnth years of George III. No Protestant or son of a Protestant could be received in the new Academy under the sever- est pains and penalties. The Lord Chancellor, how- ever, and several judges of the high courts, were to act as Trustees ex officio. The endowment voted by Par- liament was £8,000 (about $40,000) a year. Dr. Thomas Hussey, a graduate of the Irish College of Sal- amanca, who had long been chaplain to the Spanish Embassy in I^ondon, was appointed first president. The next step was to fix upon the site. At first Dub- lin, or the suburbs of Dublin, seemed to offer the chief advantages; finally, howeVer, after a variety of pro-