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Journal of Welsh religious history


Vol. 5 1997

The Society of Jesus in Wales : the Welsh in the Society of Jesus, 1561-1625 /

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into an "Upper" and "Lower" Cwm, each house had a walled forecourt and
each possessed enough land to generate £ 60 annually in rents. The recusant
William Griffith of Penmarc in Glamorgan had rented both. In 1622 John
Salisbury took a lease for the house and lands of Upper Cwm. With the
creation of the college of St Francis Xavier, Upper Cwm became its centre.
In 1626, shortly after Salisbury's death, Charles Brown [vere Gwynne]
acquired Lower Cwm and purchased the inheritance of the lease of Upper
Cwm. A local Catholic, Peter Pullen, was appointed the estate's manager.
Although well known to the government, the Cwm remained unharmed until
the Popish Plot in 1678.77
In the euphoria that surrounded the establishment of the vice-province,
several Welshmen entered the Society. In 1619 Thomas Harris entered the
novitiate in Liege on 31 July. A twenty-three old native of Monmouth,
Harris was ordained around 1622/3. He was immediately assigned to the
college of St Francis Xavier.
Thomas Jeffrey, born in Llechwedd Isaf near Conway in 1591, was
ordained in Seville on 19 May 1617. He returned sometime thereafter to
Wales where he was working when he entered the Society on an unknown
date in 1619. From 1624 he taught grammar and Greek.
Charles Brown [vere Gwynne], born in Caernarfonshire around
1583, entered the Society at Liege on 17 October 1620. He had been
ordained in Rome on 21 December 1613. In 1623 Brown was back in Wales,
and he became rector of the college on 29 December 1628.
Born about 1598 in Caernarfon, Humphrey Brown [vere Evans] was
ordained in Rome on 1 April 1623. He entered the Society, presumably in
Wales, around 1625. He first appeared in a catalogue of the English province
in 1628 in the college of St Francis Xavier.
John Floyd, a twenty-five year old Welshman, entered the novitiate
at Watten in 1625. Ordained around 1631 in Liege, he was sent to Wales as
soon as he had finished his training in 1632.
In "The Welsh Catholic Tradition", a historical introduction to the Cardiff
Provincial Directory and Yearbook for 1995, John Owen, archdiocesan
information director, noted that "Rome's opportunity in Wales suffered
because the leaders of the campaign for the reconversion of England and
Wales were deeply divided amongst themselves and many of the Welsh were
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