News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Charles II banner.jpg
National Trust
Charles II.jpg
National Trust
World News

Prayer book used to to convert King Charles II to Catholicism goes on display

by Sophie Drew

A 400-year-old prayer book that once belonged to Fr John Huddleston, a priest who helped save the life of King Charles II, in the 1600s, is now on public display near Wolverhampton. It’s believed it could have been used to convert the former king on his deathbed. 

Fr Huddleston was a Benedictine priest who lived at Moseley Old Hall with the Catholic Whitgreave family and served as their chaplain

After losing to the Roundheads at Worcester, Charles fled to Boscobel House in Shropshire and later arrived at Moseley Old Hall, where he sought refuge and the location to which the book will now return, more than 360 years later. 

Fr Huddleston helped Charles hide in his first-floor room and a priest hole when armed soldiers arrived at the house. It is likely that Charles consulted books in Huddleston's library during his stay, including the copy of the Missale Romanum now in the hands of the National Trust.

Following nine years of exile and the restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, Charles made Huddleston chaplain to his Catholic mother, Queen Henrietta Maria, and later his wife, Catherine of Braganza. When Charles lay dying in 1685, he summoned Fr Huddleston to hear his confession and administer the Eucharist.

The trust acquired the book at auction.

The missal has joined a collection that includes portraits of Thomas Whitgreave, the owner of the hall at the time, and a letter from King Charles II thanking a local woman for helping him escape to France. 

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email