It’s a crucifix that has links to the Gunpowder Plot over 400 years ago, and it belonged to a York priest who was hanged, shot and quartered.
The modest object has been revealed, it is the only object known to have survived the raids on Catholic properties carried out in 1606, following the discovery of the plot in November 1605.
Now, new research has been carried out in York into its history.
The late 16th or early 17th century crucifix belonged to Father Edward Oldcorne who lived from 1561 to 1606. The label on the cross indicates that Oldcorne was ‘Born York’. Racked 5 times. HDQ (hanged, drawn and quartered) 7 April 1606. Worcester.’
Father Oldcorne went to St Peter’s School in York and was friends with gunpowder plotters Guy Fawkes and brothers Christopher and John Wright.
The new research has been revealed by Bar Convent, York, the oldest living Catholic convent in England, having been founded in 1686.
Special Collections Director Dr Hannah Thomas led the new research and found that the crucifix is the only item known to have survived the raids on Catholic homes following the Gunpowder Plot in 1606.
Dr Thomas said: “This is one of the most remarkable objects we have in our possession and which is on display in the Bar Convent exhibition.
“We have worked closely with experts such as Michael Hodgetts, who has painstakingly researched the history of all known priest hideouts in England and Wales, and are now confident that this is the only surviving item. of a series of raids which took place at the homes of known Catholic associates across the Midlands in 1606, after the plot was discovered in November 1605.
“The search at Hindlip (in Worcestershire) lasted an incredible 12 days, and for most of that time Father Oldcorne remained in hiding in a tiny hidden room, fearing for his life.
“This small object is now the only surviving witness to those terrifying days, which ended with the public executions of Oldcorne and his colleagues.”
The crucifix was discovered in the priest’s hole where Father Oldcorne had hidden at Hindlip Hall in Worcestershire.
He was suspected of being involved in the plot because he was a Catholic priest and a Jesuit.
There was no evidence to link Oldcorne to the Gunpowder Plot and so he was put to death for his Catholic faith on April 7, 1606.
The crucifix is on permanent display in the exhibition at Bar Convent in Blossom Street, York, England’s oldest living convent.