BISHOP DOUGLASS HOUSE SYSTEM
The house system contributes significantly to the culture and organisation of the school. When pupils first come to the school they are placed in a form group which is part of one of six house groups. These are named Campion, Fisher, More, Line, Ward and Owen. There are plenty of opportunities throughout the school year to take part in inter-house activities such as poetry, art and sporting competitions. All houses support different charities such as CAFOD and the North London Hospice.
Saint Edmund Campion, S.J., (24 January 1540 - 1 December 1581) was a Roman Catholic Jesuit priest and martyr. A highly educated man, who attended Oxford University - Campion was an Anglican loyal to Elizabeth I. He took the Oath of Supremacy, and deacon’s orders according to the new rite. However, he gradually became more uneasy abut the Protestant movement convinced that religious truth lay with the Catholic Church. In June 1571 he left England to study at the English College at Douai where he was received into the Catholic faith. Three years kater he moved to Rome and entered the Jesuit novicate, afterwards spending time in Vienna and Prague. He was ordained priest in 1578. In 1580 he returned to England to minister Catholics. While conducting and underground service, Campion was arrested by priest hunters. When challenged about the excommunication of Elizabeth by Pope Pius V he replied with a prayer for her, “your Queen and my Queen”. Convicted of high treason, he was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. Campion was beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1886 and canonised in 1970 by Pope Paul VI as one the forty martyrs of England and Wales.
Saint John Fisher (c. 19 October 1469 – 22 June 1535) was an English Catholic Cardinal-Priest, Bishop, and theologian. He was a man of learning, associated with the intellectuals and political leaders of his day, and eventually became Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. Fisher was executed by order of Henry VIII during the English Reformation for refusing to accept the king as Supreme Head of the Church of England and for upholding the Catholic Church’s doctrine of papal primacy. He was named a cardinal shortly before his death. He is honoured as a martyr and saint by the Catholic Church. He shares his feast day with St. Thomas More on 22 June in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints and on 6 July in that of the Church of England.
Saint Thomas More was born in London in 1478. After a thorough grounding in religion and the classics, he entered Oxford University to study law. Upon leaving university he embarked on a legal career which took him to Parliament where he attracted the attention of Henry VIII who appointed him to a succession of high posts culminating in making him Lord Chancellor in 1529. He resigned in 1532 at the height of his career because he refused to support Henry’s divorce and remarriage to Anne Boleyn. The rest of his life was spent in writing mostly in defence of the Church. In 1534, with his close friend, St John Fisher, he refused to render allegiance to King Henry as the Head of the Church of England and was confined to the Tower. Fifteen months later and nine days after St John Fisher’s execution, he was tried and convicted of treason. He told the court that he could not go against his conscience. On the scaffold, he told the crowd of spectators that he was dying as ‘the King’s good servant but God’s first.’
Anne Line was born in the early 1560s, and at some point, probably in the early 1580s, converted to Catholicism along with her brother William and Roger Line, the man she married in February 1583. Around 1594 Father John Gerard, S.J. opened a house of refuge for hiding priests and put the newly widowed Anne Line in charge of it, despite her chronic ill-health. She continued to harbour priests, but in 1600 was arrested and sent to Newgate Prison. She was tried on 26 February 1601 and was so weak from fever that she was carried to the trial in a chair. She told the court that so far from regretting having concealed a priest, she only grieved that she ‘could not receive a thousand more.’ She was sentenced to death for the felony of assisting a seminary priest. Anne Line was hanged on 27 February 1601.
Saint Margaret Ward (died 30 August 1588), the “pearl of Tyburn”, was an English Catholic martyr who was executed during the reign of Elizabeth I for assisting a priest to escape from prison.
Margaret Ward was kept in irons for eight days, was hung up by the hands, and scourged, but absolutely refused to disclose the priest’s whereabouts. At her trial, she admitted to having helped Fr. Watson to escape, and rejoiced in “having delivered an innocent lamb from the hands of those bloody wolves”. She was offered a pardon if she would attend a Protestant service, but refused. She was hanged at Tyburn on 30 August 1588.
Her date of birth is unknown, but she was born in Congleton, Cheshire.
Margaret Ward was canonised by Pope Paul VI on 25 October 1970, as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. Her feast day, along with all the English Martyrs, is on 4 May. However, in the Roman Catholic dioceses of England, she shares a feast day with fellow female martyr saints Margaret Clitherow and Anne Line, on 30 August.
Saint Nicholas Owen, S.J., (died 1606) was a Jesuit lay brother who built numerous priest holes during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England. After his final arrest, he was tortured to death by prison authorities in the Tower of London. He is honoured as a martyr by the Catholic Church and was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970.
Owen was canonized as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales by Pope Paul VI on 25 October 1970. Their joint feast day was initially celebrated on the anniversary of the canonization. That feast has been moved in England to 4 May. His individual feast day is on March 22. Catholic stage magicians who practice Gospel Magic consider St. Nicholas Owen the patron saint of Illusionists and Escapologists, due to his facility at using “trompe l’oeil” when creating his hideouts and the fact that he engineered an escape from the Tower of London.