Consulting the most important reference works on the subject of religious migration, the attentive reader would be forgiven the assumption that early modern religious migrants in exiles, refugees or migrants – Anabaptists, the Austrian Protestant nobility in the German imperial cities, the Dutch Reformed and Dutch reformed exile communities in on the , in , or ,1 Dutch Remonstrants or Arminians, Socinians or anti-Trinitarians, French Huguenots, the Salzburg Lutherans or East Prussian Mennonites as examples for this phenomenon, but makes little mention of Catholics.2 Only in the context of the French Revolution does the article write of "a large number of the clergy forced into emigration by the deportation decree of 26.8.1792".3 This is the only indication of Catholic confessional migration in what represents a significant article. Moreover, the reference remains oblique, as there is no mention of the fact that the decree applied only to the Catholic clergy. The article does not mention any individual Catholic confessional migrants and provides no information as to the existence of this phenomenon in the 19th century.were either Protestants or Protestant dissenters; few accounts give any indication that Catholics were also forced to leave their homes on grounds of their faith. The article Flucht/Flüchtlingsfürsorge (migration/the relief of migrants) for the Early Modern period, 16-18th centuries in the Theologische Realenzyklopädie (1983 edition) lists Protestants or Protestant dissenters, emigrants,
The article focussing on "emigration on the grounds of faith" (Auswanderung aus Glaubensgründen)4 in the same publication examines the question of the Protestant nobility; the English Pilgrim Fathers (1621); the Huguenots forced to leave France by the revocation of the Edict of (1685); the Lutheran mountain peasants in ; the late Pietists from Württemberg, who went to the Russian region (1836); and the New Lutheran migration to and in the 19th Century. The article makes no mention of Catholic migration, even after informing its reader that "William of Orange gave royal assent to the Act of Toleration in 1689, replacing previous practice as expressed in the Clarendon code (named after John Hyde, Earl of Clarendon) aiming at a comprehensive Anglican polity. This practice involved a greater degree of persecution of dissent – initially of Roman Catholic origin, then Protestant dissent – and the corresponding level of emigration than other non-Catholic nations".5
Even if this finding can be explained by the Protestant leanings of the (nominally confessionally neutral) TRE, the apparently marginal nature of Catholic migration would seem to be confirmed by the complete absence of the topic in third edition of the Catholic-sympathising Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche (Lexicon for Theology and the Church 1993-2001). The only article on the subject "Refugees" (Flüchtlinge) restricts itself to the theological-ethical, social-ethical and pastoral aspects of the issue, and ignores entirely the historical aspect of this matter.6 The short entry for "Migration" (Migration) restricts itself to providing a definition of the phenomenon and a brief account of Catholic ministry to migrants.7 In comparison, the short mention of "Roman Catholics" in contained in the article on "Emigration" (Auswanderung) appears as a veritable plenitude.
Catholic migration on religious grounds, whether forced or voluntary was a widespread phenomenon during the early modern period. Beginning on the Jesuits during the suppression of their order between 1761 and 1773. This article will also focus on the large number of priests and nuns expelled from Revolutionary France for refusing to swear loyalty to the French nation and those German Catholics who left their homeland during the 1870s., it is necessary to differentiate between the different experiences of emigration of English Catholics, Scots Catholics and the Irish and Anglo-Irish Catholics. Later exiles included the 17th and 18th century migrations of the Jansenists and the forced migration of
English Catholic confessional migration
Initially a question of Church organisation, the early English Reformation focussed on the separation of the Church from Rome, leaving traditional teachings and liturgical practice untouched. Indeed, it represented little more than the mechanism by which to clear the way for the divorce between Henry VIII (1491-1547) and his first wife. The institutional break was cemented in 1533 with the passing by Parliament of the Act in Restraint of Appeals. Passing the Act of Supremacy in 1534, Parliament then legislated to make the English monarch head of the Church of England. Fanning anti-clerical feeling and thus preparing the way for the import of continental reforming ideas, this movement culminated in the religious innovations expressed in the Book of Common Prayer (1549) and culminating in the Common Prayer Book (1552). After the reversal of the evangelical cause following the death of Edward VI (1537–1553) and following the Catholic restoration under Mary I (1516–1558), the religious settlement of 1559 under Elizabeth I (1533–1603) established the Anglican Church governed by the Act of Uniformity and the 39 Articles of Religion (both 1559).8
The advent of the Henrician Reformation was accompanied by the emigration of individual Catholics; the most prominent being the humanist and theologian Reginald Pole (1500–1558), who left for Paris in 1529/30 to gather support amongst the theologians of the Sorbonne for the divorce of his royal master. Despite such initial co-operation, he rejected the offer of translation to either the Bishopric of or that of , opting instead to travel to , where was made a cardinal in 1536. Returning to England during the reign of Mary Tudor, he was appointed Archbishop of in 1555, dying on the same day as his queen (17 November 1558).9
Under Elizabeth I, English Catholicism survived in rural areas and those extremely distant from 10 The existence of such redoubts of the Old Faith nevertheless were unable to ensure the survival of the Catholic hierarchy and the public influence of the Catholic clergy. Catholic bishops such as Thomas Watson (1513–1584)11 the last Catholic Bishop of were imprisoned. Already held in the Tower under Edward VI and freed under the Marian Restoration, he was appointed as bishop in 1557, only to return to the Tower in 1559 under Elizabeth. Although released in 1560, his diocese was handed to the Anglican Nicolas Bullingham. Accused of trying to gather support for the recognition of Elizabeth's excommunication (announced by Pope Pius V (1504–1572) in his bull Regnans in excelsis from 25 February 1570) Watson was returned to the Tower, from where he was transferred to Wisbech Castle in , a gaol holding some 33 Catholic priests, including John Feckenham (c. 1515–1585), Abbot of 12 and after 1598, the Jesuit Priest Christopher Holywood (1562–1626).13 Both Watson and Feckenham died in captivity. A better fate was that of Nicholas Hearth (c. 1501–1578)14 Archbishop of York under Mary Tudor, who was released to live out his years on his lands in (Surrey) after only a short spell in the Tower..
Other bishops fled to the continent, thus becoming confessional refugees. Such figures included Thomas Goldwell (c. 1500–1585), Bishop of in Wales from 1554 to 1559, who fled shortly after Elizabeth's accession in 1559 and moved to in 1561, where he occupied a number of posts including that of vicar-general to the Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Carlo Borromeo (1538–1584).15 Goldwell had the distinction of being the only English bishop to have participated in the Council of , having participated in the third sitting of 1562/1563.16 A total of sixteen of the Catholic bishops consecrated under Mary Tudor were imprisoned in 1559 for refusing to render the Oath of Supremacy (which had been reintroduced in 1535).17
The accession of Elizabeth I saw the departure for the continent of a significant number of English Catholics, particularly amongst the secular and regular clergy. Settling predominantly in the under the rule of Philip II (1527–1598), many headed for the University of (Louvain; founded 1425/1426), the theological faculty of which (founded in 1432) ranked together with the universities at Paris and Cologne as a bulwark against Protestantism.18 Notable English refugees included William Allen (1532–1594)19 who headed for Leuven in 1561 before moving to , where he was ordained. 1589 saw his rise to Cardinal and 1591 a further appointment to prefect of the Vatican library in Rome, where he died. Thomas Stapleton (1535–1598) fled to the continent in 1563, where he published his translation of the Venerable Bede's (c. 672/673–735) History of the Church in England in Antwerp in 1565.20 Taking a doctorate of theology in (1571), he was appointed as a professor of theology in Leuven, where he remained until his death.21 Further émigrés included Thomas Harding (1516–1572), who settled in Leuven, and Nicholas Sanders (1530–1581)22 who fled initially to Rome, from where he accepted a chair at the theological faculty in Leuven (1572). He died in whilst serving as papal legate.
In 1568, William Allen established the English college at the University of Douai (part of the Netherlands until the Peace of missionaries. Relocating to (in ) in 1578 after the occupation of the town by the Protestant William of Orange (1533–1584)23 the college returned to Douai in 1593.24 Further English colleges dedicated to the training of secular clergy were founded in Rome (1578)25 and (1589)26, (1592)27, (1598)28 Paris (1611) and (1622)29. These were supplemented by Jesuit institutions founded in (1593)30 and (1616). Further institutions included novitiates in (close to Saint-Omer) in 161131 and in (1662). English Benedictines, Carthusians, Dominicans, Franciscans, Poor Clares, Carmelites, Augustin nuns and Bridgettines settled in a number of locations across the Spanish Netherlands, , and Liège.32 Six Benedictine nuns also established themselves in in 1644, forming an English-speaking convent which survived until its secularization in 1803.33in 1668), a seminary dedicated to the training of English priests with the aim of sending them to England as Catholic
In addition to the training of priests, the English colleges provided an opening for the sons of the English recusant aristocracy to study Law. In 1576, 120 such students were enrolled at Douai; a number which fell to 115 in the following year.34 Some 71 students were registered after the move to Reims in 1758.35 44 students were registered at the English College in Rome in 1579, the majority of which studied theology.36 The enrolments at the other institutions varied, with 36 (1596) and 45 / 53 (1593) in Valladolid37 and 62 students in Seville (1598).38 Saint-Omer began in 1593 with seven students, increasing its numbers to 120 in 1602,39 maintaining this figure in 1687.40 A proportion of the graduates of the various English Colleges returned to England as Catholic missionaries,41 of which many – 116 secular clergy, seven Jesuits, a Benedictine and a Franciscan42 – were executed. The first to be martyred, all hanged together on 1 December 1581, were all products of the various English Colleges: the Jesuit Edmund Campion (1540–1581) 43 had graduated from Douai 1573; Alexander Briant (1553–1581)44 had been ordained in Cambrai; whilst Ralph Sherwin (1550–1581)45 had studied in both Douai and Rome.
The English colleges newly established across the continent also provided a berth for significant exile English theologians, the majority of whom were drawn from the University of Richard Bristow (1538–1581)46 from Exeter College Oxford and the scholar of Hebrew 47 who fled to Reims from St. John's College Oxford before being appointed Rector of the English College in Rome. Gregory Martin was the leading influence behind the English-language translation of the Latin Vulgate Bible which, although published in Reims, came to be known as the Douai Bible. Published in parts beginning in 1582, this project reached completion in 1610, before undergoing revision by a team headed by Richard Challoner (1691–1781) and published between 1749 and 1772.48. This number included the controversial theologian
The English College in Douai survived until the French revolutionary wars; after the outbreak of war with Napoleon Bonaparte (1769–1821) and Pope Pius VII (1742–1823) signed on 15 July 1801 involved the restoration of the properties in Douai; the building was later sold to the French government in 1834.49 The English College in Lisbon survived the period of Napoleonic occupation, but remained closed between 1807 and 1814. Indeed, the institution continued after this hiatus until 1885.50 In other cases, the dissolution of the Jesuit order (which had taken over the majority of the English Colleges) in 1762 (France), Spain (1767) and the rest of Europe (1773) resulted in the closure, reform or relocation of these institutions. Thus the English College in Saint-Omer moved to in the in 1762, where an attempt in the following year to replace the Jesuit hierarchy with Dominicans failed. As a result, the college moved again, this time to Liège, where it remained until the French occupation in 1794. Some two hundred years after its foundation by English émigrés, their successors took the decision to return to Great Britain, where they settled in in Lancashire.51(1 February 1793) its occupants were first interned before being sent across the channel in 1795. Part of the terms of the concordat between
English confessional migration was by no means an exclusively male phenomenon. Intensified persecution of Catholics in the aftermath of the failed Gunpowder Plot (5 November 1505) – the Catholic plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill James I (1566–1625), the royal family and the entire English government52 – saw the English Catholic Mary Ward (1585–1645) 53 flee to the Spanish Netherlands in 1606. Welcomed by the Walloon Poor Clares (in present day Saint-Omer in France) in 1611 she founded and led an exile association for raising and educating English Catholic girls.54 The Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary or "Sisters of Loreto"55 received papal recognition in 1703.
Scottish Catholic confessional migration
56 The progress of the Scottish Reformation remained slow over the 16th century and the House of Stuart remained staunchly Catholic until 1578. The thoroughgoing Calvinism of the Kirk which later came to dominate Scotland did not establish itself until the 17th century.57and England remained independent states until 1707, joined until then only in the personal union of a single monarch following the accession in 1603 to the English throne of James VI of Scotland, who duly became James I of England. The loose nature of this association unleashed considerable political and confessional strife.
As a result, early confessional migration in Scotland remained a Calvinist (or more specifically Presbyterian) phenomenon, encompassing such figures as John Knox (1505–1572) who fled for after the accession of the Catholic Mary Stuart (1542–1587) ("Mary, Queen of Scots") in 1554. Taking the opportunity of Mary's departure for France to live as the wife of Francis II (1543–1560), Knox returned to in 1559. Drafting the Confessio Scotica, which attained Parliamentary approval in 1560, he made a key contribution to the establishment of Calvinism in his home country.
The return of Mary in 1561 and her failure to implement a Catholic restoration resulted in her flight to England in 1568, where she was imprisoned in 1586 for treason, tried and beheaded in 1587. In her absence, further influential Calvinists such as Andreas Melvilles (1545–1622) had returned to Scotland (Melvilles returned in 1574) and worked for the final establishment of Presbyterianism. With the triumph of the Reformation in the 1570s, the Catholic hierarchy collapsed. The Catholic Archbishop of St. Andrews John Hamilton (ca. 1511–1571) was hanged in full metropolitan regalia;58 in 1574 the Scottish Privy Council declared the remaining Catholic ecclesiastical hierarchy to be outlaws and rebels.
The list of rebels was headed by the Archbishop of Glasgow, James Beaton (1517–1603).59 Able to flee his persecutors, he died in exile in Paris. The close political ties between France and Scotland made Paris the most important destination for Scottish Catholic émigrés; a Scottish College was established here in 1603.60 Preceded by the establishment of such institutions in Douai (1576) and Rome (1600), this was followed by the opening of a further Scottish College in Madrid in 1627. As with the English and Irish Colleges founded on the continent, the Scottish establishments were intended to train the next generation of priests to lead the re-catholicisation of their home countries.61 As with their English counterparts, the Scottish Colleges survived until the end of the 18th century; the Scottish College in Paris was closed in 1792. In addition to providing the rallying point for Catholic emigrants, these institutions also played an important role in conserving the material heritage of Scottish Catholicism, collecting and preserving Catholic archives, paraments and Vasa Sacra. For instance, the archive and treasury of Glasgow Cathedral was transported to Paris.62
Anglo-Irish confessional migration from Ireland
Roman Catholicism in English-ruled Ireland63 developed in two forms, a native Gaelic and an Anglo-Irish wing of Catholicism. This was replicated in the two streams of confessional migration of which the Gaelic variety began first.64 The history of English influence in Ireland began at the end of the 15th century, with the establishment of Crown authority in the municipality of and the four counties of , , and . The remainder of Ireland remained the fiefdom of regional Gaelic kings and English overlords. In 1494, Henry VII (1457-1509) subjected the legislative authority of the national Irish Parliament (established in 1297) to his royal assent. His successor Henry VIII sought to export his religious settlement to Ireland, including the dissolution of the monasteries (which finally eradicated monastic life in England by 1535); yet although he and his vassals succeeded in sequestering much of their wealth, the general policy met with fierce resistance.65 Proclaimed Supreme Head of the Church of Earth or Head of the Church of Ireland by the Irish Parliament in 1536, he also acquired a new title as King of Ireland in 1541, replacing his inherited title of Lord of Ireland, which his predecessors had carried since 1171. Led by the Irish clan chiefs Shane O'Neill (c. 1530–1567), Hugh O'Neill (c. 1540–1616), the second Earl of Tyrone and later joined by Hugh Roe O'Donnell (c. 1572–1602), the resistance movement was united both by national and confessional grievance. Ireland remained Catholic, even under the extreme pressure exerted during the reign of Elizabeth I.
The first Desmond Rebellion against the English crown and its government in Dublin (1569-1573) was named after Gerard FitzGerald (c. 1533–1583), the 14th Earl of Desmond. A second rising launched from Munster in lasted from 1579 to 1583. Both revolts were nourished by national sentiment and Catholic resistance to the Irish plantations, an attempt to establish a permanent Protestant presence and influence in Ireland. Both revolts failed and a nine-year war from 1594 to 1603 culminated in a Tudor victory, won in the year of Elizabeth's death. Also known as Tyrone's Rebellion, the high-point of this conflict came with the defeat in 1602 at the Battle of Kinsale of the joint forces of the 2nd Earl of Tyrone and the Spanish force sent by Philip III (1578–1621) of Spain to support him.66
Despite the defeat and flight of the leading dissidents – 1607 witnessed what became known as the "flight of the Earls" with the departure for the continent of Hugh O'Neill (who died in Rome) and his allies and the confiscation of all their lands – the English government in Dublin failed to impose either its rule or Anglicanism. Further Irish revolts preceded the English civil war in 1641 and followed the execution of Charles I (1600–1649), King of England, Scotland and Ireland in June 1649.67 Brutally suppressed by Oliver Cromwell (1599–1658), the revolt of 1649 ended with the confiscation of Catholic property, within which only those giving an oath of allegiance were permitted to retain two-thirds of their land-holdings. Further measures were even harsher: Catholics were permitted to hold land only in the distant West of the island and the entire Catholic clergy was deported. Although the restoration of the Stuart dynasty in the person of Charles II (1630–1685) improved the position of Catholics in Ireland, and meant an end to the persecution of the Catholic Church with the repeal of many of the penal laws, this progress ended abruptly following the flight of his brother and successor James II (1633–1701) and the advent of the Glorious Revolution.
The victory of the Protestant William III of Orange (1650–1702) over the forces of James II at the Battle of the in 1 July 1690 marked a return of the persecutory Anglican state: Catholics were barred from office and subject to the ascendancy of the Protestant minority. The Catholic elite was excluded from national life; only the lower clergy represented the mass of the population. Although the 18th century saw a slight improvement in the situation of Irish Catholics, it was not until Catholic emancipation in 1830 that a Catholic Irish member of parliament in the person of Daniel O'Connell (1775–1847) was permitted to represent his constituents at Westminster. Nevertheless, there were no training facilities for Catholic clergy in Ireland, all of whom continued to study in the Irish Colleges in France, Rome or the Austrian Netherlands.68
The first Irish College on the continent was founded in 69 in 1592.70 Known since 1610 as El Colegio Real de los Nobles Irlandeses, it depended on the Spanish crown for its funding and (as with the majority of English colleges) concentrated on training secular priests to take the Catholic Gospel to their homeland. Further Irish colleges were established in Lisbon (1593) following the union of Spain and Portugal (1580-1640), in the Spanish Netherlands Douai (1594), Antwerp (1610), in Spain (1605), Seville (1612), Madrid (1629)71 and (1649)72, in the Spanish Netherlands (now France) (1610), in the Spanish Netherlands (now Belgium) (1616), in France (1603) and (1603). The largest of these establishments was founded in 1605 in Paris73 (founded on a smaller scale in 1578)74 followed by the Irish College in Rouen (1610).75 Contemporary accounts estimated some 1600 members of St. Patrick's College in Douai of which 60 were the (male) progeny of the Anglo-Irish gentry.76 Many of these establishments survived until the end of the 18th century, including those in Paris (registering up to 180 students), Nantes, Bordeaux, Douai (between 30 and 80 students at each location), Toulouse and Lille (each with between 10 and 12 students).77 Between 1590 and 1789, 1,214 students were educated in the Irish College in Paris78 and 278 at Toulouse 278.79in the Kingdom of Spain
Gaelic Catholic confessional migration from Ireland
Although not the largest institutions of their kind, Douai and Salamanca represented the most important of the Anglo-Irish Irish Colleges. Gaelic confessional migration began in earnest only following the end of the Nine Years War. The Gaelic regular clergy arriving in these new waves did not "integrate themselves into the existing exile structures, but sought to establish their own institutions".80 Franciscans founded St Anthony's College in Leuven in 1606. This was followed in 1624 by the Dominican-founded Holy Cross College and in 1625 by the Franciscan-run St. Isidor's College in Rome.81
Both the Anglo-Irish and Gaelic colleges trained their priests to be returned to Ireland for missionary purposes. Indeed, entrants to the college in Salamanca were required to swear an oath that they would return to Ireland after completion of their studies.82 A number of its alumni even became Bishops in Ireland.83 Despite the founding aims of the colleges however, it is striking in the words of one author how many "never returned to Ireland at all, but made a career for themselves in France".84 The revival of Gaelic Catholicism in the Irish Colleges should therefore best conceived of as85 "a response to Elizabethan Anglophone catholic nationalism"86; the "structure of the Irish Colleges corresponded to the old dichotomy of the Ecclesia inter Anglicos and Ecclesia inter Hibernicos.87
The exile of the Jansenists
Jansenism was a Catholic reform movement condemned as heretical. Although a specifically French phenomenon, it was rooted in the teachings of the Dutch theologian and later Bishop of Cornelius Jansenius the Younger (1585–1638). Its key doctrinal work was his tract Augustinus, published posthumously in 1640.88 First condemned in the papal bull Cum occasione, issued in 1653 by Innocent X (1574–1655), the obloquy of this movement was confirmed in a subsequent enunciation by Alexander VII (1599–1667) in his bull Ad sacram from 1656. Papal censure was preceded by the condemnation by the Paris theological faculty of one of their number, the leading Jansenist Antoine Arnauld (1612–1694).89 Arnauld retired to in 1668, before fleeing to the Spanish Netherlands in 1679. He died in exile in .,
1705 saw further intensification in the Jansenist conflict with the bull Vineam Domini Sabaoth of Clement XI (1649–1721). In 1710, King Louis XIV (1638–1715) razed the monastery at Port-Royal-des-Champs, previously the intellectual centre of Jansenism, before Clement XI confirmed earlier Papal condemnations of the movement and banned Pasquier Quesnel's (1634–1719) Abrégé de la morale de l'Évangile, published in 1671. The leading Jansenist theologian of his generation after Antoine Arnauld, Quesnel90 fell under suspicion of heresy after the publication of Le Nouveau Testament en français, avec des Réflections morales sur chaque verset in 1692. He fled to Brussels in 1685. Arrested at the request of Louis XIV, he was able to escape and fled to in 1703, where he died in 1719. He joined his fellow Jansenist Nicolas Petitpied (1665–1747),91 who had been living in Dutch exile since 1704. Returning to France after the death of Louis XIV in 1715, he again fled to the Netherlands, living in from 1728 to 1735. He later returned to Paris, where he died. Other exiles included Ernest Ruth d'Ans (1653–1728)92 were Jacques-Joseph Duguet (1649–1733)93 who fled to Brussels, but was able to return to Paris, where he died, and Jean-Baptiste Le Sesne de Ménilles d'Étemare (1682–1770), who fled to Holland in 1754, where he died.94 The removal of the intellectual centre of Jansenism from Port-Royal to Holland began as early as 1703 with the exile of Pasquier Quesnels in Amsterdam in 1703. 1723 saw the foundation of the Jansenist "Church of Utrecht", in schism with Rome, led by the Dutchman Cornelius Steenoven (1661–1725) as its first bishop.
The exile of the Jesuits
The forced exile of the Jesuit Fathers after the suppression of their order represents an especially interesting form of confessional migration.95 The decision was preceded by events in the Portuguese Empire. In 1755, the Portuguese Prime Minister Sebastião José de Carvalho Marquês de Pombal (1699–1782) stripped the Jesuits of their administrative responsibility for the Indian colonies in . In 1758, he requested that Pope Benedict XIV (1675–1758) punish the Portuguese Jesuits for sedition. Accused of organising an assassination attempt on King José I (1714–1777) in September 1758, three Jesuits were arrested within the scope of the Távora affair and executed in January 1759. In November 1761, the Jesuit Gabriele Malagrida (1689–1761) was executed in Lisbon. After the confiscation of the Jesuit property in Portugal, in the autumn of 1759, the Portuguese crown expelled around 1000 members of the order from Portugal and its colonial holdings. Deporting them to the ,96 this move seriously compromised Catholic attempts to evangelise the New World.
In France, the Parlement de Paris condemned the teachings of leading Jesuit theologians in 1761, whose books were burnt publicly. All Jesuit colleges in France were closed. This resulted in the departure of many members of the order, who left France in 1764. Of the some 360 Jesuits in the district of the Paris Parlement, around 200 decided to leave.97 Other rulers followed suit: the Jesuits were expelled from Spain (1767), the and the . In 1769, Spanish, French and Neapolitan emissaries to Rome requested that Clement XIII (1693–1769) dissolve the Society of Jesus. Although the coalition of Bourbon rulers was initially unsuccessful in its bid, they found Pope Clement XIV (1705–1774) to be more solicitous. Seeking also to placate Portugal, he ordered the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773.
Clerical emigration during the French Revolution
A further significant flow of Catholic confessional migration was triggered by the French Revolution. The declaration issued by the Constituante on 28 October 1789 declared all oaths to religious orders to be invalid. A further step saw the blanket ban on all religious oaths and the dissolution of the clerical corporations. Only those orders dedicated to education and charitable work were permitted to remain until their subsequent dissolution in August 1792. The regular and the secular clergy were subject to the provisions of la Constitution civile du clergé, promulgated on 12 July 1790. Reducing the number of dioceses from 130 to 83, this act stipulated the election of bishops and priests by profane conclaves, the results of which did not require Church approval. The clergy was now employed and salaried by the state and required to swear an oath of allegiance to the nation, French law, the King (at this time still on the throne) and the new national constitution.
Reacting to this clear infringement of ecclesiastical liberties, Pope Pius VI (1717–1799) denounced the civil constitution in his encyclicals Breves Quod aliquantum and Caritas. Almost half of the French clergy and the vast majority of their bishops refused to take the oath. A stand-off ensued between the "constitutional clergy" (les constitutionnels) and the group of oath-rejecters (les non-jureurs, les réfractaires). With the situation gaining added urgency over the course of 1792 – the war against Austria (declared on 20 April 1792); foreign military interventions during the summer; the manifesto of the Duke of Brunswick (25 July); the storming of the Tuileries (10 August) and the end of the monarchy (21 September) – the obstinate clericals were soon viewed as the vanguard of the counterrevolution and were first persecuted and then expelled from the country on 26 August 1792 under the provisions of la loi sur la déportation en Guyane des prêtres réfractaires du 26 août 1792.
With the radicalisation of the general situation – the Terreur, the September massacres (which encompassed a number of priests), the introduction of the revolutionary calendar (5 October 1793) – and the general move towards Déchristianisation, given expression in the celebration on 8 June 1794 of the Festival of the Highest Being (la Fête de l'Étre Suprême), large numbers of the clergy began to leave France. Religious emigrants were soon joined by a large group of aristocratic refugees (the group of clergy and nobility displayed a considerable degree of overlap), headed by the brothers of the King Louis XVI (1754–1793), himself executed on 2 January 1793; the Count of Provence who became king of France in 1814 as Louis XVIII (1755–1824); and the Count of Artois, named Charles X (1757–1836) in 1824.
"By this date, the 'voluntary emigration' of the clergy had not exceeded a maximum of 6,000 persons. In September 1792, an estimated 30,000 – 40,000 clergy left France … and those remaining went underground. A further unquantifiable number were deported to French Guyana."98 Clerical emigrants (including a number of nuns) headed for the same centres of exile as chosen by the aristocratic refugees: London, , , the Netherlands and the German territories on the , in particular (part of the archbishopric of Trier). The French victory over the Austrian Netherlands in November 1792 established Westphalia as a further popular destination for both clerical and aristocratic refugees.
Despite the restrictive policies of the various Maximilian Franz of Austria (1756–1801) – some 2,000 émigré Catholic clergy lived in Münster alone in 1794/1795, having fled from France, the French-occupied Austrian Netherlands or the bishopric of Liege. They were concentrated in (400); (80); (over 70); (approaching 50), (over 40); with around 30 scattered across villages such as or close to Münster.99 The bishopric of also accepted a number of emigrants, as did the Duchy of Westphalia (part of the archbishopric of Cologne), above all the city of .100 One of this number was the Premonstratensian Jean-Baptiste Henry (1742–1813). Arriving first in Münster before moving to Paderborn and Wedinghausen (near Arnsberg), he finally settled in a monastery run by his order in Clarholz in the territory of .101rulers – including the Elector Archbishop of Cologne, who also was Bishop of Münster,
The overwhelming majority of the clerical refugees returned to France following an amnesty proclaimed by Napoleon in 1802; the rest remained in Westphalia.102 The continued presence of a number of émigré monks and nuns were even recorded during the process of secularization begun in 1803, including those at a Premonstratensian nunnery at Rumbeck close to Arnsberg.103 The portrait of the Bishop of Le Mans François-Gaspar de Jouffroy-Gonssans (1723-1799) who died in exile in Paderborn, still hangs in the Franciscan priory in Paderborn.104
A prosopographic approach to the emigrants in terms of their lifestyle and geographical origin is very revealing.105 Studies have shown a concentration of clergy originating from the North of France around , or . Transport routes were very important in determining the destination of their flight, as Clerics from Brittany were more likely to end up in England than in Münster. Once arrived in their new locations, the exile clergy experienced considerable hardship. This is shown above all in the experience of emigrant nuns, whose material conditions were very poor, despite the financial support by the Vicar-General Franz von Fürstenberg (1729–1810). Spending some of his own money, Fürstenberg sought to establish as many of the nuns as he could in service. He conceded that "this may seem unconventional, even hard, but in view of the prevailing need, [this measure] reduces the costs of their upkeep considerably".106 This approach stood in stark contrast to the circumstances of male emigres such as the Bishop of Ghent, Ferdinand Maria von Lobkowitz (1726–1795), and the Archbishop of Rouen Cardinal Dominique La Rochefoucauld (1713–1800). Both died in Münster, the latter was given a grand funeral in the cathedral.
The Kulturkampf and Catholic confessional migration
The Kulturkampf played out in the late 19th Century German Empire107 also triggered a wave of religiously-based emigration, often involving the displacement of entire monastic communities. In , the struggle began in July 1871 with an administrative measure: the dissolution of the Catholic department of the Prussian Ministry of Culture. This was followed by a number of legislative measures aimed at reducing the influence of the Churches in public life, first of which was the "Pulpit Law" from 10 December 1871108 which banned the clergy from discussion of any matters of state which resulted in any "fashion [which would] endanger public peace" (§130a StGB). The School Supervision Law of March 1872 curtailed Church influence in school affairs. The Jesuit Law from July 1872 dissolved a number of religious orders including the Society of Jesus (the members of which had only begun to return to the German lands after 1820 following its restitution in 1814) and the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer. Whilst the corporations were expelled from the territory of the and their facilities closed, their individual members were subject to restrictions of movement. This programme was preceded by a similar campaign in Switzerland, where the Jesuits (returned to and in 1814, in 1818, in 1845 and with new residences at in 1827 and in 1836) were expelled in 1847, a measure given constitutional expression in the following year. The relevant article 58 was repealed only in 1973.109
The May Laws passed in 1873 further restricted the rights of the Catholic Church in Prussia, including matters pertaining to the regulation of the training, employment and dismissal of the clergy, who were required to sit and pass the "cultural examination" (Kulturexamen). These measures were augmented by further laws: the Expatriation Law (1874) which permitted the state authorities to issue exact restrictions on the domicile of individual members of the clergy or even expel them from the Reich; and the Monasteries Act of May 1875 proscribing the existence of all religious orders on Prussian territory with the exception of those dedicated to the care of the sick. Many of these measures were revoked after 1880, whereas many of the May laws remained in place until 1887. The Jesuit Law remained in force until 1904, when it was partially revoked: the restrictions which it placed on the Society of Jesus were not lifted in full until 1917.110
Whilst the impact of the anti-Jesuit law of 1872 was restricted to the Society of Jesus and the Redemptionists, the Cloister Law from 1875 meant the end of a much greater number of institutions. Whilst the Netherlands and Belgium were the most popular destinations for emigrants driven out by the new legislation, others headed for the USA. Three examples illustrate this phenomenon. The Jesuits of a training institution 111 Our second example is that of the Carmelites who left Cologne for Limburg in 1875. This ended over two hundred years of Carmelite presence: a cloister had been founded in 1637. Secularised in 1802, it was re-founded as a nunnery in 1850. The sale in 1875 enabled the community to establish itself in their new Dutch home in (Limburg). A section of the nuns returned to Cologne in 1896, whilst other of their order remained in Echt.112 Our third example is that of the sisters from Our Dear Lady, who left their cloister in Coesfeld in the Münsterland (founded in the early 1850s) for the USA, where they settled in , Ohio and , Kentucky in 1874. They returned to Germany in 1887.113in the Prussian region left for England in 1873, before moving on to the Valkenburg ( ) in the Netherlands. The proceeds from the sale of Maria Laach to the Benedictines (in whose possession it remains) enabled the Jesuits to open a new school in Valkenburg, which developed into a Jesuit university. The new institution remained until its closure by the Gestapo in 1942.
Those involved in the various streams of Catholic confessional migration outlined in this article did not leave as individuals to congregate in isolated émigré exclaves. Instead, they belonged to geographically wider but closely connected networks which sociologists have labelled as "social networks". This can be demonstrated using the examples of the Irish Catholics and Jansenists.
The continental Irish colleges partially adopted a branch system reminiscent of orders and congregations. Thus St. Patrick's College in Douai acted as the mother house, from which the colleges in Antwerp, Lille and Tournai grew as subsidiaries. This ignored the status of the Irish College in Paris as the largest exile Irish institution. Those colleges not dedicated to training the future generations of secular clergy but staffed by regulars to train new novices, were incorporated in the hierarchy of their respective order and its networks, which also included secular colleges. Thus although the institution founded in 114in 1674 represented the only "official Jesuit college", a number of Jesuits acted as the rector of secular colleges. Moreover, the entirety of the Irish Catholic diaspora has been described as a "well-organised underground organisation", from the point at which its members left Ireland, over the time of their variegated exile and up to their return to their homeland as missionaries. The role played by Irish merchants in this movement and the protection afforded to the Priests by "social networks" in their homeland should also be highlighted.
In the case of the Jansenists, the movement was held together by the influence and activities of active individuals. One such was the historian Françoise-Marguerite de Joncoux (1668–1715) one of the Amies de Port-Royal (a social network),115 who functioned until her death in 1715 as a general factotum of the movement, co-ordinating correspondence between Jansenist theologians; administering financial transactions between France and the Netherlands; hosting a Jansenist salon in Paris; and liaising with the cloister Port-Royal-des-Champs.116 The dissolution of the Port-Royal-des-Champs meant that the burden of this work increasingly fell on individual shoulders such as those of Mademoiselle de Joncoux who edited the Jansenist underground journal Nouvelles ecclésiastiques ou Mémoires pour servir à l'histoire de la Constitution Unigenitus,117 which was published on a weekly print run of between two and six thousand between 1728 and 1803 and distributed in both the Netherlands and France.118
The examples of Catholic confessional or religious migration presented here distinguish themselves significantly from the emigration of Anabaptists, the Dutch Reformed, French Huguenots or Salzburg Lutherans. Composed not of artisans, merchants, members of the nobility or mountain peasants forced to leave their homes for reasons of conscience, in groups and often under the leadership of a clerical elite, Catholic confessional migration remained (in sociological terms) an elite phenomenon. On the theological level, the flows of people were restricted to a consecrated minority: clerics, bishops, priests, monks and nuns, but also seminarists and students of theology. Of the non-consecrated who chose to leave, many, such as Mary Ward, joined a religious order in emigration. This homogenous grouping was accompanied by laymen and women, but remained in the minority. Indeed, the prominence of the clergy in the groups of Catholic emigration examined within this key period and its direct comparison to their Protestant counterparts reveal important differences in the character of the "Church" in Protestant and Catholic areas.
Harm Klueting, Köln / Fribourg