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at Ufton Court: The House of Hideaways
 
  • Sir Francis Knollys searching for Hidden Priests at Ufton Court -  Nash Ford PublishingFrancis Perkins' family inherited Ufton Court form his aunt, Lady Marvyn. The Perkins family lived there for 200 years. They were well-known Roman Catholics. They had to pay lots of fines to the government because they wouldn't go to services in a Church of England church.
  • They needed Catholic priests to say mass for them, but they were banned from the Country. They had to visit in secret. If they were caught, they would be executed.
  • So Ufton Court had lots of 'priest-holes'. These were tiny secret rooms and cupboards to hide priests and their priestly clothes and equipment in.
  • The Perkins family were twice betrayed by servants. Soldiers raided the house looking for priests, but they never found any.
  • In 1599, the local magistrate, Sir Francis Knollys Junior, had led a group of soldiers to Ufton Court.
  • Francis Perkins was away. He had rented out the house to pay his fines. His cousin, Thomas, showed Sir Francis round.
  • The soldiers broke down doors and found a secret chapel and a priest hole in the floor. They discovered two chests there filled with gold and church plate.
  • They confiscated the lot and marched off to Aldermaston with it. Luckily, the Perkins family seem to have escaped without further punishment.

What happened next at Ufton Court?

 

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