Treasures of Ushaw College
Durham's Hidden Gem
James E. Kelly
- The college’s collections bear important witness to the religious and cultural history of the nation.
- The extent of Ushaw’s collections has only recently been fully researched and appreciated.
Ushaw College was founded over 200 years ago to educate students for the Catholic priesthood. It can trace its origins back to the English Reformation of the sixteenth century, when exiled Catholic university professors founded a college at Douai in northern France. In addition to its splendid architecture, the college’s library and archival holdings contain a wealth of rare and unique items that have only recently started to come to light. These include St Cuthbert’s ring, Thomas Cranmer’s personal copy of two Lutheran works and a first edition of the Cabinet du Roi, a magnificent volume published to glorify the reign of King Louis XIV of France.
Treasures of Ushaw College presents more than 50 highlights from these collections – beautifully illustrated and with texts by leading experts – as well as accounts of the college’s history and the architectural development of the site.
James E. Kelly is the St Cuthbert’s Society Fellow in the History of Early Modern English Catholicism at Durham University. His interests are in post-Reformation Catholic history in Europe and Britain, particularly the experience of the English Catholic community at home and in exile.