Holy Rood R.C. Church

Richard Knight and the founding of The Catholic Chapel, Market Rasen 1782

By Mary Finch 1982

Richard Knight 1720-1793

Parents William and Lucy nee Jennings, Kingerby Old Hall.

Kingerby Old Hall was eminently suitable for use as a Catholic mission in penal times as it was remote and secluded. Richard was sent to St Omers College, Saint-Omer in Artois in 1730. He went onto university and ordained a priest in 1743/6. The Society of Jesus, a Jesuit.

His father William a “Gentleman” died in 1728, his eldest son William inherited the estate.

Richard inherited everything when is elder brother died in 1738. But when he entered Holy Orders in 1744, his sister Lucy was named as the trustee. He returned to England.

1764-1793, charge of the Lincoln congregation.

The congregation numbers in the Kingerby area were falling, the mission now was too remote, so Richard decided to buy a house in Market Rasen.

He bought a plot 105 on the enclosure map, belonging to Mrs M Harrison for £195 on 1st March 1782.

Richard paid for the building work on the chapel, although it is no mention in his notebook accounts.

CARR the mason: WHITE the joiner: WATMOUGH supplied the bricks,sand and lime: LEADBEATER, NEEVE, F.ENGLAND supplied timber: J.HILL carrier of the sand and lime.

1783, Richard paid £8 8s 0d for an altar piece from Luca Giordano, 17 th c Neapolitan painter.

Total cost for chapel and house was under £450.

1784 Lady Day or Easter, the chapel was opened, it was not very big and there are no records as to where it was. Just a comment indicating that it was attached to the house.

In 1787 when 68 people were confirmed it must have been very crowded.

Why Market Rasen?, it did not have a large Catholic congregation compared to other towns in the area. But it did have a Catholic School provided by Dr George Shuttlworth, a local surgeon.

Also, there was no overall landowner, gentry or leader to influence the town for or against Catholics.

The Incumbent, Jesuit James Leslie was paid a salary of £60. £12 12s from the ancient salary from Jesuit funds and the rest was paid by Richard Knight. He made arrangements in his will for it to continue.

1824, a chapel was built in King Street, the old chapel and house was sold in 1825 for £680, used to pay the £1834 14s 9d.

In 1801, the population of Market Rasen was 774, by 1851 it was 2100+.

The old chapel later was the nucleus for the new Church of Holy Rood.