The Rookwoods of Coldham Hall in the parish of Stanningfield, Suffolk, were Roman Catholic recusants whose notoriety rests on Ambrose Rookwood's involvement in the Gunpowder Plot.
In 1606 the owner of Coldham was hanged, drawn and quartered for treason for supplying the plotters with horses.
A century later another Ambrose Rookwood suffered the same fate for conspiring to assassinate William III.
Tainted by treason, the Rookwood family nevertheless managed to hold on to their estates in Suffolk and Essex, in spite of their Royalist sympathies in the Civil War, the recklessness of individual family members, and later adherence to the Jacobite cause - and even to thrive.
As a result, the family left behind a lasting legacy in the form of the Catholic mission founded by Elizabeth Rookwood and her son in Bury St Edmunds. The documents in this volume tell a remarkable story of resilience, survival and reinvention.
They also testify to the Rookwoods' profound Catholic faith, their patronage of the Jesuits, and their cultural and literary interests.
An extensive introduction sets the Rookwoods in their historical and local context. Francis Young is the author of, among other titles, The Gages of Hengrave and Suffolk Catholicism, 1640-1767 (2015).
He is Head of Sixth Form at a public school in East Anglia.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 190 pages
- Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
- Publication Date: 29/06/2016
- Category: British & Irish history
- ISBN: 9781783270804