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1583

A purge in Warwickshire

Madonna and child statue
Madonna and child statue
In the extremely tense atmosphere surrounding the so-called Somerville Plot, the State sends agents swarming across Warwickshire. As always, strangers are treated with extreme suspicion, arrested and interrogated. In these purges at least one innocent man with a Catholic conscience finds himself in dire straits.

Robert Chadborne, a sawyer from Preston, is one such hapless soul. An excerpt from the record of his interrogation, in which he admits he has not been attending Protestant church, perfectly illustrates the difficult position that Catholics are being forced into:

"Being offered to be set at liberty upon condition that he will this night go to the church and report to the church in the time of divine service and sermons upon the Sabbath and holy days, he utterly refusith it and will not do it."

A clear case of being in the wrong place at exactly the wrong time.

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