Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Monday, November 17, 2014

17 November 1681 A.D. Pierre Francois le Courayer Born; OOPS--> Romanist Theologian Defends Church of England Orders

17 November 1681 A.D.  Pierre Francois le Courayer Born;  Romanist Theologian Defends Church of England Orders

No author. “Pierre Le Courayer.” Westminster Abbey.  N.d.  Accessed 11 Jun 2014.  

Pierre Le Courayer


The Roman Catholic divine Dr Pierre Le Courayer is buried in the south cloister of Westminster Abbey. On the wall nearby is a black and white marble tablet with his monogram PFC at the top. The Latin inscripiton can be translated:

"Here is buried Fr.Pierre Francois Le Courayer, D.D., sometime Canon of the brotherhood of St Genevieve, a man who, if anyone does, deserves well of the Church and realm of England, both by reason of his courage, and of his writings; inasmuch as he declared and claimed with forceful and irrefutable arguments the validity of episcopal ministry for this our Church, long since called into question by the Pontiffs (although himself a Frenchman, and a Pontiff) who moreover, because of this claim, being then expelled from his country, a fugitive, and finally stripped of all his goods, sought and found a refuge in this City; and there, for nearly fifty years, this distinguished exile enjoyed leisure for virtuous contemplation, in life the delight of all good men, his death a universal grief. His friends placed this marble here to such and so great a man, in his memory, though truth defended, and error refuted, provide for him a more lasting fame than marble. He died the 17th day of October, in the year after Christ's birth 1776 aged 95"

The gravestone reads:

"Pierre Francois Le Courayer Born at Rouen in Normandy November 17 1681 Canon of the Abbey of S.Genevieve. Author of a dissertation on the validity of English ordinations. Died October 17 1776 aged 95".

He was educated in Vernon and arrived in England in 1728 and became something of a celebrity after writing his dissertation on the succession of bishops in the Anglican Church. He died in Downing Street, Westminster. He left legacies to only one relation his brother James Le Courayer.

A photo of the tablet can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

Further reading:

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004.

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