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Robert Sigebert Buckley & the Westminster Link: 21 November 1607 / 2007

"The present English Benedictine Congregation, three of whose houses were founded abroad at the beginning of the seventeenth century, lays claim to an unbroken continuity with the pre-Reformation monachism of England; and that this continuity is traced through an old monk named Sigebert, or Sebert, Buckley, who was one of the community at Westminster when that house was restored by Queen Mary under the abbacy of John Feckenham, formerly a monk of Evesham. The old man survived till the reign of James I, by which time a number of Englishmen had become Benedictines in the monasteries of Italy and Spain, and had obtained faculty from Pope Clement VIII (in 1602) to take part with the secular clergy and the Jesuits in the English mission; and it was through the efforts of the English monks of the Cassinese or Italian Congregation that Father Buckley became instrumental in preserving monastic continuity in this country. He did so by uniting, or 'aggregating' to Westminster and to the old Benedictine body in England two priests, named Sadler and Maihew, whom the Cassinese English monks presented to him for that purpose."
[From Connolly, 'The Buckley Affair': see below]

Barbara Harvey, The Dissolution and Westminster Abbey
An edited version of Miss Harvey's paper given to the EBC special History Conference held (at the kind invitation of the Dean) in the Jerusalem Chamber 22 November 2007

Brief History & Background: possible Display sheets
This is a single PDF file which will readily print onto sheets of A4 for anyone who would like to set up all or some of them as a wall display (for which it was made). The last sheet contains captions for the images if used.

Notes on the Westminster monks under Feckenham 1556-59
These notes supply much detail (where known) about the individual monks, before and after the re-founding of Westminster Abbey under Queen Mary.

H.Connolly, 'The Buckley Affair', in Downside Review 30 (1931) 49-74
This article gives the essential texts from the various witnesses to the 'aggregation' made by Dom Sigebert Buckley, or Bulkely, of the re-established Westminster Abbey and two English monks from the Cassinese Congregation in Italy. This is the reason for the link of 1607 between medieval and modern English Benedictines, and their continuity. (© Downside Abbey 2007: reprinted with permission)

J.B.Wainewright, 'Queen Mary's Religious Foundations, in Downside Review8 (1908) 125-146
He deals in turn with Greyfriars, Dominicans, Carthusians, Benedictines, Dominicans, Bridgettines, Knights Hospitaler, and others. (© Downside Abbey 2007: reprinted with permission)

S.Marron, 'Dom Sigebert Buckley and his Brethren', in Douai Magazine 7 (1933) 130
Dom Stephen Marron studied the original text of the Marian ordination lists and uses the information to trace soem of the monks of Marian Westminster. (© Douai Abbey 2007: reprinted with permission)

Westminster Abbey, west front, calotype by N.Henneman 1844-45

West front 1844. The house on the right (1828) stands on the site of the old Gatehouse Prison, demolished in 1777.

West front 1655 (Dugdale, Monasticon)

West front as in Feckenham's day
From Dugdale, Monasticon Anglicanum (1655)