CNA—An historic prayer book belonging to the priest who protected King Charles II and helped save his life, has gone on public display at one of England’s famous stately homes.
Father John Huddleston’s personal missal, which is almost 400 years old, is now on display at Moseley Old Hall, Wolverhampton which is situated in the West Midlands region of the country.
Defeated king sought refuge in Catholic home
Following the Battle of Worcester in 1651, in which the Parliamentarians under Oliver Cromwell, defeated the Royalists, the defeated monarch sought refuge at the home of the Catholic Whitgreave Family, where the Benedictine priest (Fr. John Huddleston) also resided, dressed as a servant.
Fr. Huddleston agreed to hide Charles II in his first-floor room, which featured a trap door beneath the floor of the cupboard, where a priest hole was accessible. Charles II was able to hide there when soldiers turned up at the house, looking for the king.
Fr. Huddleston’s 400-year-old Roman Missal
The historic missal was purchased by the conservation charity, National Trust, at auction due to a substantial donation from a volunteer and the support of the organization Friends of the National Libraries.
It is believed that the Missale Romanum, published in Paris in 1623, might have been instrumental in bringing about the king’s deathbed conversion to Catholicism in 1685.
Once the monarchy was finally restored in 1660, Charles made Huddleston chaplain to his mother, Queen Henrietta Maria, and to his wife, Catherine of Braganza.