University and Hereford Cathedral to host Midsummer Symposium on Jesuit Culture

Professor Maurice Whitehead from Swansea University’s Department of History and Classics, and Canon Chris Pullin, Chancellor of Hereford Cathedral, will host a midsummer symposium on Jesuit culture at the largest surviving seventeenth-century Jesuit missionary library in Britain, on Friday, June 21.

Entitled ‘The World is Our House': the seventeenth-century Hereford Cwm Jesuit Library in an international context, the one-day symposium at Hereford Cathedral will explore the rich and fascinating world of Jesuit culture (1540–1700).

In celebration of the event there will be an evening concert of music associated with Jesuit colleges in the early modern era, 1600─1750. Works by William Byrd, Tomás Luis de Victoria, Matthew Locke and Marc-Antoine Charpentier will feature, as well as the first modern performances of some recent archival discoveries.

The library, which was brought to Hereford Cathedral by Bishop Herbert Croft in 1679, where it has remained largely unexamined ever since, is currently being analysed by Hannah Thomas as part of an exciting Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded collaborative doctoral award project between Swansea University and Hereford Cathedral.

The symposium and concert have been generously supported by Hereford Cathedral, the Jesuit Institute in London, the British Province Society of Jesus, the Swansea University Research Institute for Arts and Humanities (RIAH) and an anonymous donor.

The symposium programme is as follows:

10.00 – Registration and coffee in College Hall, Hereford Cathedral

10.30 – Welcome and setting the context  – Canon Chris Pullin, Chancellor, Hereford Cathedral and  Professor Maurice Whitehead, Swansea University

Panel One: Jesuit Arts, Science and Music in the early modern period

10.45 – The Jesuits and the Arts, 1540–1700 - Professor Peter Davidson, University of Aberdeen

11.15 – The Jesuits and Science, 1540–1700 - Dr Adam Mosley, Swansea University

11.45 – The Jesuits and Music, 1540–1750 - Dr Peter Leech, Swansea University

12.15 – Questions and Discussion

12.30–14.00 – Buffet Lunch, with time to view the exhibitions of early Jesuit books and music, and sacred treasures from the Special Collections at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, as well as the Hereford Mappa Mundi and the Chained Library exhibition.

Panel Two: The Jesuits in late sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England and Wales

14.00 – The Jesuits in England and Wales, 1580–1700: an overview - Reverend Dr Thomas McCoog, SJ, Fordham University, New York, and Archivist of the British Province of the Society of Jesus, London

14.30 – Helen Wintour and Jesuit vestment-making in seventeenth-century Worcestershire ─ Janet Graffius, Curator of Special Collections, Stonyhurst College

15.00 – The Cwm Jesuit Library at Hereford Cathedral –Hannah Thomas, PhD candidate, Swansea University

15.30 – Questions and Discussion

16.00 – Closing comments ─ Canon Chris Pullin, Chancellor, Hereford Cathedral and Professor Maurice Whitehead, Swansea University

16.15 until 17.15 – Exhibitions open

17.30 until 18.15 – Opportunity to attend Choral Evensong in Hereford Cathedral, featuring unaccompanied seventeenth-century music


19.30 – Concert

The World is Our House: Music associated with Jesuit colleges in the early modern era, 1600–1750

Cappella Fede

Musical Director – Peter Leech


For further information, and to download a booking form, please visit the symposium webpage:, email:, or call 01432 374225/6. Bookings must be made by Friday, June 7.