• Do you love Genealogy? Why not write for us? we're looking for volunteers to write articles for Family history. Please contact us for further information.

Local Historian question please help my survey

duckweed

Loyal Member
Posts
3,078
Likes
5
Location
Sheffield
#1
The vicar and I were trying to workout why Saint Catherine was a popular saint for dedicating chapels to in our area.

Saint Catherine was martyred on a wheel, and she is the patron saint of spinners, lace makers and rope makers and unmarried women (ie spinsters)

Do you have a pre-reformation Saint Catherine Chapel near you?

The Vicar was wondering if perhaps in our case the chapel was because of all the water wheels as we are not an area that made lace ropes or did much spinning. Sounds a good theory.

So are there loads of St Catherine's chapels in non spinning areas that have loads of water mills?
 

leefer

Loyal Member
Posts
7,107
Likes
2
Location
swindon wilts
#2
Hi Duckweed,i am guessing it is an Irish theme.
When the Irish immagrants and there families started to pop up in big numbers in our communities St Catherine was a favourite of theres...a high percentage of Roman Catholic schools are named St Catherine's also.
Not sure why the Roman Catholics took St Catherine under there wing but they seem to have done.
 

duckweed

Loyal Member
Posts
3,078
Likes
5
Location
Sheffield
#3
You are right that the Irish have always liked Saint Catherine but that is I think because she is the patron saint of sailors and there is an Irish village that is said to have been saved by prayers to Saint Catherine.

However I am thinking of before the Reformation so much earlier chapels dedicated to Catherine than those built by Irish immigrants.

I know John O Gaunt was fond of the saint and I am told the oldest Church is in Lancashire, presumably founded by John O Gaunt.

There aren't many churches, only chapels within churches and cathedrals.
 

woodlander

Valued Member
Posts
929
Likes
0
Location
Chorley
#4
I can think of St Catherine's in Liverpool, Lydiate & Burnley in Lancashire as well as a few ruined chapels/churches.
We have a St Catherine's hospice in Lostock Hall Lancashire with its own chapel but it is built on the site of an original hall, no mention in its history section of why it was named for St Catherine.
I tried a search on the Lancs online parish clerk site but it's a case of time and patience clicking each parish for individual churches.
http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/indexp.html
Good luck with it :)
 

duckweed

Loyal Member
Posts
3,078
Likes
5
Location
Sheffield
#6
Thanks that is obviously her seafaring connection. Found out she is patron saint of wheelwrights so may be my vicar's theory could be right but also the one locally was founded by Bishop Geoffrey Blythe and the Blythes were lawyers and clerks so maybe he was picking her connection as patron saint of lawyers.

Seems like she covered a lot of causes.
 

Similar threads

Top