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Sir John Luttrell of Dunster Castle -
Grandfather of Father Andrew White &
Great-grandfather of Father Thomas Copley,
Catholic Missionaries & Founders of Maryland
Sir John Luttrell of Dunster, Somersetshire left issue three daughters, Catherine, Dorothy and Mary.
In July 1558 Catherine married Thomas Copley of Gatton in Surrey.
Dorothy, second daughter and co-heiress of Sir John Luttrell, was twelve years of age at the time of his death. She married Humphrey White, citizen and merchant tailor of London.
Mary, third daughter and co-heiress of Sir John Luttrell, was nine years of age at the time of his death.
She married Henry Shelley of Mapledurham, in Hampshire, a cousin of Sir Thomas Copley, and also a Popish Recusant. 1
Father Andrew White was the son of Humphrey White and Dorothy Luttrell, who was the second daughter
and co-heiress of Sir John Luttrell of Dunster. 1, 2
“Called the Apostle of Maryland, Father Andrew White was born in London. After he was ordained in France in 1605, he returned to England. He was arrested along with many others after the Gunpowder Plot and was banished from England. He joined the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) in 1607 in Belgium, and even though he was in danger of being executed for his faith, he returned periodically to England to preach. He is credited with converting George Calvert, the first Baron of Baltimore to Catholicism. George's son Leonard invited Father Andrew White to help found an English colony in the Chesapeake Bay. He accepted the offer and on November 22, 1633, set sail from Cowes on the Isle of Wight with Lord Leonard Calvert and two fellow Jesuits on The Ark, one of the two ships that sailed to Maryland. He kept a journal, later published as "Voyage into Maryland", which is one of the primary sources about the voyage and life in that colony. The colonists landed on St. Clement's Island on March 25, 1634. This date is now celebrated as Maryland Day. When he said Catholic Mass there, he became the first Catholic priest to do so in the original thirteen English colonies.” 3
“Father Andrew White's A Briefe Relation of the Voyage Into Maryland is one of the most important first-hand accounts of the early European settlement of North America. Father White's Briefe Relation allows us the privilege of seeing the New World through the eyes of the "first adventurers." It enables us to walk in the footsteps of the 140 men and women who crossed a vast ocean aboard the Ark and the Dove to carve a settlement out of the wilderness and to build a new society founded on principles of freedom and opportunity.” 4
Father Thomas Copley was the grandson of Sir Thomas Copley of Gatton and Catherine Luttrell,
daughter and co-heiress of Sir John Luttrell of Dunster. He was an English Jesuit missionary, the eldest son of William Copley of Gatton, England, a Catholic family of distinction who suffered exile in the reign of Elizabeth. He arrived in Maryland in 1637, and, being a man of great executive ability, took over the care of the mission, "a charge which at that time required rather business men than missionaries". 5
In 1645, Father Fisher (Philip Fisher was an alias used by Father Copley in America) was wantonly seized and carried in chains to England, with Father Andrew White, the founder of the English mission in America.
“In 1645, Ingle, a Puritanical buccaneer, plundered St. Mary's City and the Mission of St. Inigoes, and carried Frs. White and Fisher to England where they were thrown into '^ prison. They were tried two years afterwards on the usual charges, as Jesuits who had come into England to seduce the subjefts of the commonwealth, but it being proved that /.^ they did not come, but were brought very much against their will, they were banished. In 1648 Father White was in Flanders; he died in London in 1656 at a great age "in the house of a nobleman," probably that of Lord Baltimore.” 6
Father Fisher (Copley) is mentioned with honorable distinction in the missionary annals of Maryland, and, according to Hughes, was “the most distinguished man among the fourteen Jesuits who had worked in Maryland“. 5
4. https://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/speccol/sc2900/sc2908/000001/000552/html/am552-- 3.html