This book focuses on key figures to have passed through Downside Abbey: from Cardinal Gasquet and Dom Hubert van Zeller, to Sir Richard Runciman Terry, who championed Tudor church music in the
The history of the Downside community is a complex one, and it has experienced great change over
the last two centuries. Its members were, at the beginning, missionaries to a dispersed Catholic
community. Gradually they adopted a more monastic identity and a life akin to their medieval predecessors. The English Benedictines who settled at Downside were the successors to the community of monks established under the patronage of St Gregory the Great at Douai in 1606.
The monastery grew in numbers during the nineteenth century but until about 1900 most of the
community worked on the mission, mainly in industrial England with notable centres in Liverpool,
Warrington, Whitehaven and South Wales.