Ides of March: Continuing Fascination


Stoop, then, and wash. How many ages hence
Shall this our lofty scene be acted over
In states unborn and accents yet unknown!


How many times shall Caesar bleed in sport,
That now on Pompey’s basis lies along
No worthier than the dust!


So oft as that shall be,
So often shall the knot of us be call’d
The men that gave their country liberty.




I think it would have amused the Romans of Caesar’s generation if they could have learned that the assassination of Julius Caesar would eventually receive immortality through a play written more than 16 centuries after the event by a barbarian playwright in the Tin Islands that Caesar had briefly invaded.  It would have tickled their well developed concept of the ludicrous, judging from Roman comedy.

In the above video William Shatner gives a pretty poor rendition of the Mark Antony speech.  Charlton Heston, below, shows him how it should be done:



It is strange the fascination that the assassination of Caesar, more than twenty centuries ago, continues to exert.  Popular historian Barry Strauss has just released a book on the assassination of Caesar, to join the ranks of the many volumes on the subject that came before.  (Strauss is a first rate historian, and I have purchased this book although I have not yet read it.)  Why should this assassination remain of interest?  I think the clue is Dante placing Brutus and Cassius, the chief assassins, in the maws of Satan in his Inferno.  Dante was a partisan of the Empire, and thus the murders of Caesar, the man who gave the dying Republic its final, fatal blow and set the stage for the Empire, were worthy to be placed in the mouths of Satan, along with Judas who betrayed Christ.

In each mouth he mashed up a separate sinner         

With his sharp teeth, as if they were a grinder,         

And in this way he put the three through torture.          

For the one in front, the biting was as nothing         

ompared to the clawing, for at times his back      

Remained completely stripped bare of its skin.          

“That soul up there who suffers the worst pain,”         

My master said, “is Judas Iscariot —        

His head within, he kicks his legs outside.          

“Of those other two, with their heads hung down,     

he one who hangs from the black snout is Brutus:         

Look how he writhes and mutters not a word!          

“That other one is Cassius, who seems brawny.         

But nightfall rises once again, and we now         

Must take our leave, since we have seen the whole.



For those who longed for the days of the Republic, the assassination of Caesar was a noble if doomed attempt to resurrect the Republic.  This was an impossible task, because the Republic had been failing for almost a century prior to the death of Caesar.  Once violence became endemic in Roman politics, and once ambitious politicians overrode the taboo against using the legions against Rome, the Age of the Dictator was at hand, awaiting only the man daring enough to place the Republic into the realm of yesterday.

The fall of the Roman Republic is ever a chilling and melancholy example that political liberty in this Vale of Tears can easily die.  Both those who prize liberty above all, and those who prize order above all, have much to contemplate in the death of Caesar and that is why it will always be remembered.

More to explorer


  1. It is surely one of the ironies of history that Jean-Paul Marat should have written in his newspaper, “The People’s Friend,” the wish that all citizens “carry in their bosoms the dagger of Brutus.”

    After Charlotte Corday’s arrest for fatally stabbing that self-styled Tribune of the People in his bath, a copy of Plutarch’s Parallel Lives was found in her lodgings, bookmarked at the lives of Dion and Marcus Brutus. No doubt she had studied it with pleasure and profit on the long stage-coach journey from Normandy to Paris.

    Lamartine wrote of her, “In the face of murder, history dares not praise, and in the face of heroism, dares not condemn her. The appreciation of such an act places us in the terrible alternative of blaming virtue or applauding assassination.”

  2. This event had to happen to make Gaius Octavius the “Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus” and prepare the Roman world for the coming of the Christ Child.
    Note the phrase “Divi Filius” in the title for Augustus. It means “son of a god.” But who is the true Son of God?
    Irony abounds greatly in all this. Some Roman senators by murder tried to restore freedom and the Republic, but instead they got Imperium ruled by a politically acclaimed Divi Filius. The real Filius Die ironically was born during the reign of this politically acclaimed Divi Filius, and it was He and His work which eventually led to the triumph of true freedom over a dictatorial empire.
    Ironically the real Son of God, like Julius Caesar, was betrayed by a close friend. But when He died came freedom, whereas when Caesar died came Imperium.

  3. Seeing Shatner makes me picture Caesar bleeding on the Senate floor while Bones (Caius Aclespius?) declares, “He’s dead, Jim.”

  4. What is interesting is Shakespeare’s take on it. Brutus attempts to appeal to the nobler sentiments of the people, and is confident that his oratory which appeals to their patriotism, addressed as it is to ‘Romans, countrymen and lovers’ will convince them of the logic of his arguments. It appears to have done so, and he then becomes over-confident and leaves the field to Antony who cleverly inverts the opening to ‘friends, Romans, countrymen’ and then cynically works on the sentimentality and cupidity of the mob.

    Brutus is indeed honourable, but naïf; Antony is manipulative and cynical. His chilling words after the plebs have departed on their murderous rampage are: ‘Now let it work – Mischief, thou art afoot, take now what course thou wilt!’ The first victim of popular justice is an innocent poet who happens to share a name with one of the conspirators.

    The very first scene of the play has Flavius and Murellus castigating the people for their fickleness.

    Brutus believes that the Republic he believes in is based, in theory at least, on the general will of the people. Shakespeare’s message is that the people cannot be relied on. How right he was.

  5. “Shakespeare’s message is that the people cannot be relied on. How right he was.”

    Shakespeare’s true sentiments of course will never be known. He was a subject of Bad Queen Bess and being in favor of a Republic would not have been the safest of political persuasions at that time, especially someone like Shakespeare dependent upon court patronage.

  6. Shakespeare’s view of society was shared by most in the sixteenth century and can be inferred by the words he puts into Ulysses’ mouth in ‘Troilus and Cressida’:

    ‘The heavens themselves, the planets, and this centre
    Observe degree, priority, and place,
    Insisture, course, proportion, season, form,
    Office and custom, in all line of order.

    Take but degree away, untune that string,
    And, hark, what discord follows! Each thing meets
    In mere oppugnancy’

    It is of course the authentic Catholic view (whether or not Shakespeare was a Catholic is still disputed) and is echoed in Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poem ‘Tom’s Garland’. Violent disorder was prevalent in Shakespeare’s day and he would have observed the London mob in action.

    ‘Bad Queen Bess’, like ‘Bloody Mary’ is the sort of epithet that merely indicates the prejudice of those who use it. Elizabeth I, like her contemporary Catherine de Medici was a ‘politique’ – she was not interested in religious persecution for its own sake. English history has managed to free itself from four centuries of Protestant propaganda, and the last thing we need is for Catholics to weigh in on the other side.

  7. “Bad Queen Bess’, like ‘Bloody Mary’ is the sort of epithet that merely indicates the prejudice of those who use it. Elizabeth I, like her contemporary Catherine de Medici was a ‘politique’ – she was not interested in religious persecution for its own sake.”

    Rubbish. Her anti-Catholic laws speak for themselves. Her claim that she did not seek mirrors into men’s souls was tripe. She viewed the Catholic Church as a threat to her throne and the best that Catholics could hope for was to hear Mass from a priest on the run from her spies.

    As for Shakespeare, the argument has been made that he was a republican in his sentiments:

    Since he was living in Tudor England under a tyrant who clapped members of Parliament into the Tower for speaking their mind, I submit that it is impossible to guess his true sentiments since he was most definitely not a free man.

    “At the opening of the 1593 Parliament Elizabeth warned that freedom ‘to saye yea or no to bills’ did not include licence ‘as some suppose to speake … of all causes’, nor ‘to frame a forme of relligion, or a state of government’, adding that ‘no king fitt for his state will suffer such absurdities’.”

  8. The anti-Catholic laws I referred to:

    “The Penal Laws began with the two Statutes of Supremacy and Uniformity by which Queen Elizabeth, in 1559, initiated her religious settlement; and her legislation falls into three divisions corresponding to three definitely marked periods:
    •1558-70 when the Government trusted to the policy of enforcing conformity by fines and deprivations;
    •1570-80 from the date of the excommunication to the time when the Government recognized the Catholic reaction due to the seminary priests and Jesuits;
    •from 1580 to the end of the reign.
    To the first period belong the Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity (I Eliz. 1 and 2) and the amending statute (5 Eliz. c. 1). By the Act of Supremacy all who maintained the spiritual or ecclesiastical authority of any foreign prelate were to forfeit all goods and chattels, both real and personal, and all benefices for the first offence, or in case the value of these was below 20 pounds, to be imprisoned for one year; they were liable to the forfeitures of Praemunire for the second offence and to the penalties of high treason for the third offence. These penalties of Praemunire were: exclusion from the sovereign’s protection, forfeiture of all lands and goods, arrest to answer to the Sovereign and Council. The penalties assigned for high treason were: •drawing, hanging and quartering;
    •corruption of blood, by which heirs became incapable of inheriting honours and offices; and, lastly
    •forfeiture of all property.
    These first statutes were made stricter by the amending act (5 Eliz. c.1) which declared that to maintain the authority of the pope in any way was punishable by penalties of Praemunire for the first offence and of high treason, though without corruption of blood, for the second. All who refused the Oath of Supremacy were subjected to the like penalties. The Act of Uniformity, primarily designed to secure outward conformity in the use of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, was in effect a penal statute, as it punished all clerics who used any other service by deprivation and imprisonment, and everyone who refused to attend the Anglican service by a fine of twelve pence for each ommission. It should be remembered that the amount must be greatly multiplied to give their modern equivalent.
    Coming to the legislation of the second period, there are two Acts directed against the Bull of Excommunication.:
    •13 Eliz. c.1, which, among other enactments, made it high treason to affirm that the queen ought not to enjoy the Crown, or to declare her to be a heretic or schismatic, and
    •13 Eliz. c. 2, which made it high treason to put into effect any papal Bull of absolution, to absolve or reconcile any person to the Catholic Church, or to be so absolved or reconciled, or to procure or publish any papal Bull or writing whatsoever.

    The penalties of Praemunire were enacted against all who brought into England or who gave to others Agnus Dei or articles blessed by the pope or by any one through faculties from him.

    A third act, 13 Eliz. c. 3, which was designed to stop Catholics from taking refuge abroad, declared that any subject departing the realm without the queen’s licence, and not returning within six months, should forfeit the profits of his lands during life and all his goods and chattels. The third and most severe group of statutes begins with the “Act to retain the Queen’s Majesty’s subjects in their obedience” (23 Eliz. c. 1), passed in 1581. This made it high treason to reconcile anyone or to be reconciled to “the Romish religion”, prohibited Mass under penalty of a fine of two hundred marks and imprisonment for one year for the celebrant, and a fine of one hundred marks and the same imprisonment for those who heard the Mass. This act also increased the penalty for not attending the Anglican service to the sum of twenty pounds a month, or imprisonment till the fine be paid, or till the offender went to the Protestant Church. A further penalty of ten pounds a month was inflicted on anyone keeping a schoolmaster who did not attend the Protestant service. The schoolmaster himself was to be imprisoned for one year.

    The climax of Elizabeth’s persecution was reached in 1585 by the “Act against Jesuits, Seminary priests and other such like disobedient persons” (27 Eliz. c. 2). This statute, under which most of the English martyrs suffered, made it high treason for any Jesuit or any seminary priest to be in England at all, and felony for any one to harbour or relieve them. The penalties of Praemunire were imposed on all who sent assistance to the seminaries abroad, and a fine of 100 pounds for each offence on those who sent their children overseas without the royal licence.

    So far as priests were concerned, the effect of all this legislation may be summed up as follows: For any priest ordained before the accession of Elizabeth it was high treason after 1563 to maintain the authority of the pope for the second time, or to refuse the oath of supremacy for the second time; after 1571, to receive or use any Bull or form of reconciliation; after 1581, to absolve or reconcile anyone to the Church or to be absolved or reconciled. For seminary priests it was high treason to be in England at all after 1585. Under this statute, over 150 Catholics died on the scaffold between 1581 and 1603, exclusive of Erizabeth’s earlier victims.

    The last of Elizabeth’s laws was the “Act for the better discovery of wicked and seditious persons terming themselves Catholics, but being rebellious and traitorous subjects” (35 Eliz. c. 2). Its effect was to prohibit all recusants from removing more than five miles from their place of abode, and to order all persons suspected of being Jesuits or seminary priests, and not answering satisfactorily, to be imprisoned till they did so. The hopes of the Catholics on the accession of James I were soon dispelled, and during his reign (1603-25) five very oppressive measures were added to the statute-book. In the first year of his reign there was passed the “Act for the due execution of the statute against Jesuits, seminary priests, etc.” (I Jac. 1, iv) by which all Elizabeth’s statutes were confirmed with additional aggravations. Thus persons going beyond seas to any Jesuit seminary were rendered incapable of purchasing or retaining any lands or goods in England; the penalty of 100 pounds on everyone sending a child or ward out of the realm, which had been enacted only for Elizabeth’s reign, was now made perpetual; and Catholic schoolmasters not holding a licence from the Anglican bishop of the diocese were fined forty shillings a day, as were their employers. One slight relief was obtained in the exemption of one-third of the estate of a convicted recusant from liabilities to penalties; but against this must be set the provision that retained the remaining two-thirds after the owner’s death till all his previous fines had been paid. Even then these two-thirds were only to be restored to the heir provided he was not himself a recusant.”

    Bad Queen Bess is a mild term for her considering the above.

  9. I’m waiting for Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Caesar. It’s sure to be the last word on the second or maybe third greatest conspiracy in history.
    Depending on how you rate the landing on the moon, of course.

  10. Don, you must surely be aware that in 16th century Europe religious toleration was the exception rather than the norm. As far as I am aware, the only state that practised it was the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569-1795). St Thomas More regarded religious uniformity as essential to the integrity of the state.

    There is no point in your adumbrating 16th century statutes which prove nothing unless they are put in context. Mary Tudor burned Protestants and her half-sister had Catholics executed for treason; I’m not arguing in favour of either, but the underlying rationale was the same – they threatened (or seemed to threaten) the body politic. The situation, both internal and external, in the 1580s is sufficiently well known and I shall not insult your intelligence by pointing it out.

    That you dismiss arguments with which you disagree as ‘rubbish’ does not incline me to take you seriously as an historian. You have considerable knowledge, but see history in polemical terms. Your take on the American Revolution bears this out.

    I hold no brief for the Tudors (Welsh usurpers) but Elizabeth was probably the best of them. American conservatives like yourself find themselves in a quandary; they have to define themselves in terms of a revolution and a republic yet both of these are difficult to square with conservative political thought.

    ‘Rubbish’ , I hear you cry. But think on it, the point may have more validity than you are prepared to admit.

  11. American conservatives like yourself find themselves in a quandary; they have to define themselves in terms of a revolution and a republic yet both of these are difficult to square with conservative political thought.

    That would be because Progressives, socialists, communists and other assorted collectivist types mis-appropriated “liberal.”

  12. “Don, you must surely be aware that in 16th century Europe religious toleration was the exception rather than the norm.”

    Indeed, along with other terrible infringements upon human liberty.

    “There is no point in your adumbrating 16th century statutes which prove nothing unless they are put in context.”

    Indeed, and Catholics under Bad Queen Bess were treated as criminals if they dared follow the religion of their fathers. That is the context. It was her religious policies that forced Catholics to look for foreign assistance, and who can blame them. It is interesting that many Catholics did stay loyal to her, which just goes to show that some people will salute whatever regime is in power, no matter how they are treated. Roper in his life of Saint Thomas More, written during the reign of Queen Mary, mentions that Saint Thomas More predicted that there would come a time when Catholics in England would pray for the tolerance that Henry VIII was then denying heretics.

    in regard to the Tudors, the best of a very bad lot, and the smartest of them, was Henry VII.

  13. ‘Bad Queen Bess’, like ‘Bloody Mary’ is the sort of epithet that merely indicates the prejudice of those who use it.
    What rankles me about this statement John, is that there is, after all, absolute Truth. Ultimately opinion and prejudice about reality don’t matter, and it is perfectly fine to acknowledge “Good” and “Evil” or in this case, “Bad”.
    I can understand wanting to be dispassionate about the study of history, and detached, but- we do only study history Because we are interested in Life, necessarily marked by Good and Evil.

  14. Maybe this is just my take on the movie, but in “Gladiator” (with Russell Crowe), didn’t Commodus’ sister basically resurrect the Republic, with the help of the Senate (Derek Jacobi) at the very end ? My impression is that such was her intention at least. I found it fascinating “revisionist” history — meant to appeal to a “r”epublican society and audience ? I was amazed the powers that be in Hollywood allowed such sentiment to be portrayed.

  15. Gladiator was an immensely entertaining movie, but had little to do with History. Commodus’ assassination opened a cycle of civil wars that ended with the triumph of Septimus Severus as Emperor. With his reign the Empire became largely a military dictatorship, with the legions making and unmaking emperors, often with dizzying speed, as the chaotic third century in the Roman Empire would demonstrate.

  16. Donald R McClarey wrote, “With his reign the Empire became largely a military dictatorship…”

    The empire was a military dictatorship from its inception, although Augustus and his immediate successors were rather good at concealing the fact. The Commander-in-Chief of the army (which is what the word Emperor (Imperator) means, exercised a universal, despotic authority and his instrument of government was the army.

    What changed was the rôle of the Prætorian Guard within the army itself.

  17. “The empire was a military dictatorship from its inception”

    Not really. Under the Principate the Army was a factor, but rarely a decisive one. With the exception of the Year of the Four Emperors, the Army largely had no control over who became Emperor, Claudius after Caligula being the last adult male in the imperial family and Nerva succeeding Domitian after a court, not Army, plot succeeded in assassinating Domitian. I view the Principate as coming to an end with the civil wars following Commodus.

  18. “The empire was a military dictatorship from its inception”
    Not really. Under the Principate the Army was a factor, but rarely a decisive one.

    See how well Augustus disguised the cold hard facts of power?

  19. CAM asks, “Given the harsh laws explained above, how the recusant English, Welsh and Scottish Catholic families survive?”
    Enacting laws is one thing and enforcing them quite another. In Scotland, only a single priest, Saint John Ogilvie SJ was martyred. He was arrested in Paisley and executed in Glasgow.
    North of Stirling, people were Catholic, Episcopalian or Presbyterian by clans and septs and the courts were heritable jurisdictions of the chiefs. Outside the few cities – Aberdeen and Inverness – government was forced to work through shifting alliances with these chiefs.
    During the reigns of Charles I and Charles II, the government was only too anxious to enlist the aid of the Catholic clans against the Covenanters.
    The fact that, in 1716, Bishop Thomas Nicholson was able to open a seminary at Scalan, near Glenlivet in Banffshire, on the Duke of Gordon’s land for the training of Gaelic-speaking priests for the Highland mission shows how brazenly the laws were set at defiance.
    The British government treated the Highland clergy with unexampled savagery after the failure of the ’45. Of the priests who had accompanied the Prince, Rev Mr Colin Campbell of Morar was murdered on the filed of Culloden, shot down by Hessian mercenaries, whilst trying to rally the fugitives for one last charge. Rev Mr Allan MacDonald, rector of the seminary at Scalan, near Glenlivet was imprisoned for a year in a military garrison and then ordered to leave the country. Scalan itself was burned on the orders of the Duke of Cumberland, as a “nest of traitors.” Rev Mr Aeneas McGillis of Glengarry was put to the horn (outlawed) and fled the country. Of those who had stayed at home, but had “prayed for the Pretender,” Rev Mr Neil McFie of the Rough Bounds, Rev Mr Alexander Forrester of Uist and Rev Mr James Grant of Barra were bundled on board ship and deported to France, without the formality of a trial. Rev Mr William Harrison of the Rough Bounds was later captured carrying Jacobite dispatches and similarly deported.

    Bishop Hugh had to rebuild the Church more or less from scratch. Himself the son of Alexander MacDonald of Morar and of Mary, daughter of Ranald MacDonald of Kinlochmoidart, he recruited mostly among the Highland gentry; ordained ad titulum patrimonii sui and unpaid, they stayed with relatives, or with influential friends, and served their native place. Thus we have Alexander MacDonald of the Scotus family living in Knoydart; Austen MacDonald of Glenaladale in Moidart; Allan MacDonald of Morar’s family living in the Morar area; James MacDonald, son of John MacDonald of Guidall in the Rough Bounds, and so on. Bishop Hugh was succeeded by his nephew, John MacDonald.

  20. He tamed the Army so well that there was no dispute that Tiberius would succeed him, and after Tiberius, Caligula and after the assassinated Caligula, Claudius. It took the murderous incompetence of Nero to shake the system of Augustus, and even then the Army was quickly relegated once again to its subordinate role from Vespasian to Commodus.

  21. Unless they were extremely wealthy or lucky they didn’t. Some immigrated to colonies. It was a very long and tough time until the repeal of the laws on inheritance and owning property with the Catholic Relief Act of 1778. Even so, it was over half a century until the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829.

  22. You say Principate, I say military monarchy; you say Dominate, I say military autocraty. The difference between the Severans and their Julio-Claudian and Flavian predecessors is that the former never felt the need to disguise the basis of their regime.

  23. Donald R McClarey wrote, “It was a very long and tough time until the repeal of the laws on inheritance and owning property with the Catholic Relief Act of 1778.”

    In Scotland, many Catholics refused to take the oaths under the Relief Acts of 1778 and 1791 until the death of the Cardinal Duke of York on 13 July 1807. The Sherriff Court books show a great increase in people taking the oath in the autumn of that year.

    The laws against Catholics owning or inheriting land had long been a dead letter, thanks to the ingenuity of conveyancers. Their methods included manipulation of the feudal law: the insertion of a mid-superior, where land was held of the Crown, the use of precepts of clare constat from the superior to avoid the process of service of heirs by a brieve from the Chancery, and the assignation of open (i.e. unexecuted) procuratories of resignation and precepts of sasine.

    In addition, they employed strict settlements to ensure that no one ever acquired a greater interest than a liferent, hedged around with irritancies and resolutive conditions and that the land was encumbered with family charges, in the form of tacks or leases, ground annuals and heritable bonds. Indeed, not a few Protestant landowners availed themselves of these devices to prevent their heirs changing the course of descent and generally to keep it free of their acts and deeds and diligence of creditors.

  24. After 193 the legions often controlled the emperors.

    If by often you mean 235-285, sure. 375-476 in the West, too, I suppose. But that to my mind just reinforces the link between military command and political rule. Tacitus and the whole secret of empire thing, you know?

  25. The legions lacked the ability to make and unmake emperors during the principate with the exception of Nero, and most of the principate emperors were not soldiers with the exceptions of Vespasian,Titus and Trajan. The soldier days of Tiberius were long behind him by the time he became Emperor.

  26. The legions lacked the ability to make and unmake emperors during the principate[.]
    What the legions lacked was an awareness of their ability to make and unmake emperors (Tacitus’s secret of empire). So a better way to express the point you made might be that during the period of the principate, the emperors were sufficiently secure in their control of the legions that, for the most part, ambitious generals could not leverage their control the legions to turn them against the emperors.
    Augustus was never much of a soldier, true, but he made sure that the legions were commanded by relatives who were, e.g. his step-sons Tiberius and Drusus, and his son-in-law Agrippa. Tiberius’s soldiering days weren’t that far behind him, as he came out of retirement to put down the Pannonian revolt in AD 9. Also, there’s a school of thought that holds part of the reason the empire passed to Nerva was because he more or less immediately designated Trajan his heir. The implication of course being that if Trajan hadn’t been in the line of succession, he would have seized the Empire. I’m not fully familiar with that argument, however. Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius both had more military experience than your comment would suggest.
    Finally, I think you’re underestimating the significance of the tendency of the empire to fall into civil war every time the succession broke down. Arguably, Nero’s greatest demonstration of incompetence was in taking his own life. The eastern legions might have backed him against Galba and Vitellius if he’d shown some grit. Civil war was avoided in AD 96, sure, but that’s the exception that proves the rule. Civil War broke out in 191 with the assassination of Commodus, and again in AD 235 with the assassination of Severus Alexander. The period 235-285 is more or less one of continuous civil war as ambitious generals rise and fall (you’re only as good as your last victory). Diocletian restores order in what is indisputably a military dictatorship run by a military junta. And while he attempted to effect an elaborate settlement of the empire, it almost immediately broke down upon his retirement in AD 305. It was another twenty years before Constantine controlled the entirety of the empire.
    The larger point being that control of the army was the basis of political power throughout the Imperial period, principate, dominate and tetrarchy. I’m thinking we more or less agree on that, but we’re emphasizing different aspects of that reality. Which is why I think M. P.-S. is largely correct in describing the empire as a military dictatorship, albeit one in which the early dictators felt it prudent to wear business suits togas instead of uniforms the military cloak.

  27. Thank you for the explanations on Scottish and English recusants.
    I may be off topic but the following is an important date in the history of The Church in the US: March 25, 1634 the Ark and the Dove, with 3 Jesuits and Catholic English and a few Scots, landed on St. Clements Is, MD wherein a Mass for the Feast of the Annuciation was celebrated. There was religious freedom to a degree in that the Catholic colonists could practice IF they were inconspicuous and left the Protestant colonists alone. The oldest churches in So Marylalnd are Catholic, not Episcopalian. and the Carmelite monastery is still occupied with an increasing number of 3rd Order layman.

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