indemnified and sav'd harmless for their so doing', a very necessary precaution, as we shall see. While all this was going on, John Arnold and John Scudamore were presenting their evidence of Monmouthshire Popery to the committee of the House of Commons. They named priests and their protectors, and reported regular large gatherings of Catholics at the ruined chapel on Skirrid, and the presence of a Jesuit College at the Cwm. The sheer number of practising Catholics is impressive. At Dingestow, for instance, only sixteen or twenty Anglicans attended Sunday service, while sixty or more Catholics passed and repassed through the churchyard on their way to mass at Lady Jones's at Treowen. The vicar of Llanarth reported more than eighty Catholics in his parish, not counting children and servants. Arnold's row with Henry Milborne and Rowland Prichard was gone into at length. Prichard claimed to pay an extra £ 10 a year rent to be allowed to have mass said at his house at Llanrothal, which is extremely revealing of local tolerance. When Arnold and Henry Probert had one of Milborne's servants arrested, Milborne laid violent hands on the chief constable so that the servant could escape. The fine for recusancy was supposed to be a shilling per Sunday, but Milborne flatly refused to levy it. North-east Monmouthshire was, it would seem, a Catholic area under Catholic administration. The crowd was so great at mass one day, a woman reported, 'that the loft was forced to be propt least it should fall down under the weight'. John Arnold groaned under a similar Catholic burden.46 Milborne now appears in the Wentwood case. Worcester had no intention of trying his right at law, probably because he knew he had none. Instead he copied his grandfather and tried might over right, using his packed bench of J.Ps. to enforce his will. He order'd his Deputy-governor of Chepstow not only by a Military Power to enter the said Forest or Chase, and to invade the Rights of the Tenants by keeping Guard with Guns, and other Hostile Weapons in and about the Wood, but call'd a Privy-Sessions under the Forester's Oak there, where appear'd his Mercenary Justices, viz. Mr Henry Milburne, Mr Thomas Herbert, his Deputy-Governor of Chepstow, with the County Jailor, several Bailiffs, Catchpoles, and other dissolute Fellows from Monmouth, who were made and appointed by the said Justices as special Constables, in Conjunction with the Soldiers to terrifie and take up the Tenants and their Servants, that had lately cut or carry'd any Wood for their necessary Occasions. 46 An Abstract, passim.
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