Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/James Stonnes

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English priest, b. 1513; d. after 1585. He was ordained at Durham by Bishop Tunstall in 1539. After Elizabeth's accession he never entered a church, but wandered about Durham and Yorkshire, with occasional visits to Lancashire, where he was known as Uncle James, saying Mass as often as the opportunity of time, place, and company gave leave. He was eventually arrested by the Earl of Derby about midnight 19 Nov., 1585, at the house of a very poor man, a victualler, and an under-tenant, living eight miles from the earl's seat, Newpark, in the Parish of Ormskirk, Lancashire. As he would not commit himself to the royal supremacy, though he acknowledged the queen as temporal sovereign, and wished she might have Nestor's years, and as he confessed that he regarded her ecclesiastical policy as contrary to God's law and refused to give up saying Mass, he was committed to the New Fleet, Manchester, where, as he was then aged 72, it is probable he died. At the time of his arrest he had with him, an alb, a surplice or amice, a thread girdle, a vestment, a stole, a fannel, "a Corpus and a Corpus Case", a super-altar, a tin chalice with a cover, three little pewter boxes in a leather case for oil and chrism, a crewet, two little pewter bottles for wine, three crucifixes, an Agnus Dei, "a porthouse with the pope's name in the Callender in many places", a piece of an old primer in parchment, a piece of an old book of sermons, and an old Mass-book.

Gibson, Lydgate Hall and its Associations (privately printed, Edinburgh and London, 1876), 231-3.

John B. Wainewright.