Charles Plowden

Father Charles Plowden was an important cleric and religious scholar, as well as a profilic writer, and a key protagonist in polemics related to the Catholic Relief Bill in the early-19th century.

Plowden was born at Plowden Hall, Shropshire, in 1743, into the important Catholic Plowden family. He was educated at St. Omer's, and, following a long family tradition, entered the Society of Jesus in 1759. In 1770 he was ordained as a priest in Rome. The Society of Jesus was suppressed in 1773, the EnglishCollege at Bruges - for which he was minister - was closed, and he was kept prisoner. During this time, he wrote an account of the college's destruction. After his release, he stayed at the Academy of Li├Ęge, before returning to England, whereupon he became a chaplain at LulworthCastle, allowing him to give the sermon at the consecration of Bishop Carroll (1790). The Society of Jesus was eventually restored, and in 1817, he was declared Provincial, while also being the Rector of Stonyhurst College until 1819. Late in his life he was summoned to Rome for the election of the General of the Society of Jesus.

He died suddenly at Jourgne in France (13th June 1821), on his return journey to England and, bizarrely, was erroneously buried with full military honours.

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