JUNE 18th 1867

A heavy peace settles on the city. The full extent of the damage done becomes clear at daybreak.The whole community is in a state of shock. However there is a strong consensus of opinion that the trouble was the work of a “party of order” comprising of assorted thugs from all sides of the Protestant/Catholic, English/Irish divide. The Irish community, in particular, are said to be utterly exasperated by what has occurred. The police and soldiers are still on duty, however, and have cordoned off the Bullring, Moor Street and Carrs Lane area. Local Catholics also form cordons around Edgbaston Oratory and St Chad’s Cathedral. Throughout the day, rumors circulate about attacks on buildings but aside from one serious incident (c.5.30PM) where a gang of Irishmen, armed with brickbats and stones, are apprehended terrorizing the residents of a three storey house, all is, comparatively peaceful.

(One other incident that is reported , however, is worthy of note. A young man armed with a pocket full of stones is stopped by a police man. On being asked what he was doing he replies, rather drunkenly, that it was all right, he was on the Protestant side and that the stones were intended for Catholics. He is told by the policeman that he is free to go and is instructed to “Use them well”.)

An emergency meeting is called by the Leamington Board of Health in regard to whatb has happened in Birmingham. Particular concern is expressed about Murphy’s plan to give a talk there on the 1st of July. It is suggested that the police be armed with cutlasses, but it is eventually decided that as the Catholic population there was far smaller than it was in Birmingham, such an extreme measure would not be worth putting into force. An agreement is made to the effect that it was a matter of grave concern, given the nature of his remarks, that Murphy would be there; and an expression of sadness was expressed at the lack of a formal, legal ban on his visiting there.

5.30 PM: Audience gathers inside the church for tonight’s lecture.

6.30 PM: Murphy arrives. Chairman for this evenings lecture is a Wesleyan minister from Walsall, Rev. W. Cattle.

8.00 PM: Colonel Brockman ascends the platform:

Brockman: “When I was last in Lewes, I had the misfortune to come across an old gridiron. As I looked at it, I began to recall the number of our Protestant forefathers who had been roasted on that gridiron to please the holy fathers, in accordance with their Romish principles of “War to the knife” against all Protestant heretics. Let us never forget, Romish Priests are a dark coated, serpent race. Today a threat against my friend Murphy’s life was made by seven women. How do these priests regard women? The other day a woman travelling with a Catholic Priest was offered a sum of money to become a nun. He offered her a sovereign first, then a sum of five pounds. Ha! The fat old fathers are like spiders in the center of their webs and when they get their victims in, it is a very difficult matter to get them out again.”

Rev. Cattle: “I have received a letter from our good friend Mr Aston apologizing for his absence tonight. His wife is still very upset over the events of last Sunday and he felt it was his duty to be with her until she felt better.It would appear that the time of Queen Mary is back with us. The Catholics are reaping the fruits of their emancipation. The Church of England has never been in such a poor state since before the time of the Reformation, what with that bastard cripple begotten of the scarlet whore called Puseyism. There are some who are still blaming us for the events of the past few days. I declare, unequivocally, that the events are down to the mayor of Birmingham for not allowing Mr Murphy to use the town hall as he did allow Cardinal Manning to do so in January. It appears our beloved mayor is prepared to give up everything for the sake of his friends over on the Emerald Isle. Those very people who have, in this country, such a love of brickbats (as they have so few to play with over there). However, we Protestants will stand our ground and (if it comes to the crunch) I would not give more than the price of old bricks for the Oratory of Birmingham.”

Voice from congregation: “We only want a leader!!”

Murphy: “I have received a letter from a Roman Catholic who is part of a band who say they are both bound over and prepared to pull down this church and confront me personally on this very platform. Very well then, where are they? I tell you, if the Roman Catholics of Birmingham even once dare to trifle with the liberties of an Englishman, the response will be hot and heavy. Somebody here has said that you all want a leader, very well, I realize I am but very little but I shall lead you. Together we shall go for war to the knife against the degrading system of Popery. You may depend upon this, if trifled with, I am no mean enemy to the kingdom of the Anti-Christ.

Tonight I want to say a few words about “Transubstantiation and the Mass”:

The Catholic Priests claim to have the ability to make God Almighty out of bread and wine. They should, therefore, be able to turn all the pebbles into sovereigns and not make their livings out of poor people. When all the praties were black in Ireland why did they not say a quick hocus pocus over them and turn them into good food? Who knows? Perhaps if Father Sherlock had said a hocus pocus over them, he’d have turned them all papist.

I have, here, a Catholic Missal. This is what it says on the subject: “If a priest vomits a wafer, if he has a stomach ache, for example, he is compelled to eat up the pieces.” That is, if he vomits Jesus Christ, he has to eat him up again. Likewise, it also says that if the wine freezes in winter, they have to put it, that is Jesus Christ, into boiling water. On this issue the Puseyites are no different. According to their Directorium Anglicanum, the Bishop of Salisbury has said that God has given the clergy not only the power to pardon men’s sins but also to change bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ.These are not Church of England priests!!! These are traitors in our camp and it is our duty, brethren, to expel these people!!

There is one observation you would perhaps appreciate. Did you know that, by their own doctrines, these priests eat themselves each Sunday? Think about it. Do they not maintain that they are one and the same with Christ’s body, the very body they eat each Sunday? The Catholic priests now, however, don’t like giving wine to the people.They like it too much themselves.”

A young man named Augustus Gill ascends the platform.

Gill: “Mr Murphy, having listened to what you have had to say tonight, I declare you to be totally ignorant of the ritual you have just been berating. You have no understanding, whatsoever, of the Catholic faith. I deny the fact that the Catholic Bible teaches any of the nonsense you declare it does.”
Murphy: (proffering a bible) “Here, take this. It’s a Catholic bible that has been approved of by no less than 26 bishops.”
Gill:” I refuse the book you offer as I do not believe it to be an authentic Douay Bible. I have a copy of that at home.”
(Jeers from congregation)
Murphy: “Very well. Here are some books written by Catholics for you to take home and read.”
Gill: “I do not trust the authenticity of the books you offer. I shall, however, be here again tomorrow night.”

The meeting disperses. It had not been as large as previously.

The decision to concentrate the police force around the city center leads to an outbreak of robberies and other crimes in the suburbs.


About alanspage

what about myself?
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