St. Edmund's College, Ware

St. Edmund's College, Ware

St. Edmund's College, Ware

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St Edmund's College is the oldest post-Reformation Roman Catholic school in England. It is an independent school in the British public school tradition set on in Ware, Hertfordshire. During two periods of its history, it has also incorporated a seminary.


Douay: 1568-1793

St. Edmund's College, the oldest Catholic school in England, is a continuation on English soil of the English College that was founded by Cardinal William Allen at Douay in Flanders in 1568. Originally intended as a seminary to prepare priests to work in England to keep Catholicism alive, it soon also became a boys' school for Catholics, who were debarred from having such institutions in England. Many of its students, both priests and laymen, returned to England to be put to death under the anti-Catholic laws. The College includes amongst its former alumni 20 canonised and 133 beatified martyrs.

Silkstead, Twyford, Standon & Old Hall Green: 1662-1793

In the second half of the 17th century, a small Catholic school was begun in Hampshire. It was opened by a priest at Silkstead prior to 1662, and then transferred to Twyford, near Winchester. It was conducted in great secrecy, and was for boys of preparatory school age, intending to proceed to the English College to complete more advanced studies. The poet Alexander Pope was a student at this school, although he did not proceed to Douay. Twyford was closed in 1745 on account of anti-Catholic feeling caused by the Jacobite rebellion, but......
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