History

The cataloguing of ‘The Month’ – a monthly publication owned and operated by the British Province of the Society of Jesus from summer 1865 until its closure in 2001 - has recently been completed, offering an opportunity to look more closely at ‘The Month’, its story and history. The completed catalogue ended up becoming five boxes worth of material spanning from the publication’s Jesuit takeover in 1865 until its unfortunate closure in 2001, the date ranges found within the collection really...
Pedro Arrupe SJ was working on the outskirts of Hiroshima when the bomb went off, on 6th August 1945. On the anniversary of this tragic event, Fr Denis Blackledge SJ reflects on the man whose future was determined by what happened on that date and whose cause for beatification was opened earlier this year.Pedro Arrupe was born in Bilbao in 1907, the youngest of five children and the only boy. His mother died when he was nine and his father when he was twenty. Sensitive, bright and idealistic,...
Every year, 31 July marks the feast day of St Ignatius of Loyola. As co-founder and first General of the Society, this is a particularly important feast day for Jesuits in Britain and throughout the world to celebrate. In this blog post, we look at some of the items that celebrate St Ignatius and the early years of the Society in the Jesuits in Britain Archives.Íñigo López de Loyola, as St Ignatius was baptised, was born in Loyola in the Basque Country of Spain, 23 October 1491. The youngest...
Black and white photograph of young boys with a few carrying banners showing religious images in two lines either side of 3 altar servers, two of whom are carrying candlesticks and the third a pole which may be the base of a cross
Back in March 2018 Lorraine Finch, a photograph conservator, gave the archive team some valuable training on identifying different photographic processes and how to care for the different types of photographic material. We were aware that among the various photographic formats held in the Jesuits in Britain Archives there was a collection of glass plate negatives.Before cellulose nitrate film was invented in 1903, photographic emulsions were made on glass supports, more typically known as glass...
This year 6 July marks the 400th anniversary of the date that the English Mission became a Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus. In this article we look at the early history of the mission up to that point.The possibility of a Jesuit mission to England was first discussed in 1578. The then Father General, Everard Mercurian, was initially reluctant to embark on it, fearing that the Society was already overstretched. The English Jesuit Robert Parsons and William Allen, founder of the English...
At the end of this month there will be four days of celebration in Rome for the 175th Anniversary of the foundation of the Apostleship of Prayer, which has been re-invigorated and rebranded in recent years as the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network. The Apostleship of Prayer started in France in 1844, at a Jesuit training college in Vals. The young Jesuits there were anxious to start on their missionary activities abroad, especially in India, but became disheartened because they realised they...
One of the Jesuits in Britain Archive’s most recently completed cataloguing projects is the collection of personal papers of one of the Society’s most prolific writers: Fr Cyril Martindale SJ (1879-1963). Among his personal papers are over 150 articles, sermons, items from his childhood, study notes and drawings, diary extracts, and almost 8 archival boxes full of personal correspondence. His published works include In God’s Nursery (1913); The Goddess of Ghosts (1915); Bernard Vaughan S.J. (...
The 20th May is World Bee Day. In the UK, and globally, bees are facing many threats, including loss of habitat, climate change, toxic pesticides and disease. The future for bees and many other pollinators is uncertain, and human activities have led to nearly 1 in 10 of Europe’s wild bee species facing extinction. To raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development, the UN has designated 20 May as World Bee Day. The date...
Later this week, 8-9 of May to be exact, marks the annual international day of remembrance and reconciliation for those who lost their lives during the Second World War. These days – first designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 2004 - urge individuals, UN Member States and organisation to pay tribute to the victims of World War II annually on either one of or both days. The 8th May was designated, naturally, as this was the day when, almost 75 years ago the World War II Allies...
Pencil sketch of a woman playing a lyre under banner 'Resurrexit'
It has been some time since the archives have turned to the wonderful resource that is the Blandyke Papers for a blog post. These mostly manuscript volumes, were the journal founded by the philosophers at St Mary’s Hall, Stonyhurst, and cover a vast array of topics.In searching for material relating to the celebration of Easter two short paragraphs appearing in the Blandyke Papers in May 1892 and April 1893 respectively were particularly intriguing. The earlier report by an unknown author began...

Pages