Wednesday 11 September 2013

Ann Cecilia Tyldesley 1687-1736

Ann Cecilia Tyldesley's signature

Ann Tyldesley 1687-1736 was the daughter of Thomas Tyldesley 1657-1715, the Diarist, and thus the younger sister of Dame Mary Michael Tyldesley 1684-1759. Like her sister, Ann joined the nuns of the English Benedictine Abbey of Ghent in Flanders.  Ann took the name Cecilia and was professed in 1707. On 12 July 1730, she was elected Abbess:
Proces Verbal of the Election of the Lady Cecilia Tyldesley
9th Abbess of Ghent, 1730.
(From the original document, preserved in the Episcopal Archives at Ghent).
[Translation—the original Latin appears below]
We bear witness to the following : In the monastery of the noble English nuns of the Order of St. Benedict in this city of Ghent; in the presence of the Very Reverend Messrs. William de Potter and Peter le Bolenger, canons of the Cathedral Church of St. Bavo, specially deputed for the purpose by the Chapter of the said Church (the See being vacant), assisted by the Very Rev. Patrick Everard, canon of the church of St Pharailde, in the presence also of the Rev. James Whetenhall, confessor of the Monastery, and the Rev. Father Philip Wright of the Society of Jesus, on this 12th day of July 1730.
On this same day, after the celebration of a mass " de Spiritu Sancto " by the first named of these deputies, and a sermon having been preached to the nuns about the election of a new abbess, in the place of the Rev. Lady Mary Knatchbull lately deceased, all proceeded to the said election according to the form laid down by the holy Council of Trent and the constitutions of this monastery in accordance therewith. In the first scrutiny Dame Mary Magdalen (Lucy) had four votes, Dame Winefride (Lucy) seven, Dame Cecilia Tyldesley eleven ; and since in this scrutiny, by the constitutions there was no election, they proceeded to the second scrutiny, in which Dame Mary Magdalen Lucy had two votes, Dm Winefride Lucy, six, and Dm Cecilia Tyldesley fourteen, and since even then there was no election, they proceeded to the third scrutiny, according to the same constitutions of this monastery, by ballot; and firstly for Dm Mary Magdalen Lucy, who had only two suffrages ; then they balloted for Dm Winefride Lucy, who had seven lastly did they ballot for Dm Cecilia Tyldesley who had fifteen votes, therefore the said Dm Cecilia Tyldesley was canonically elected Abbess of this monastery, which election we, the above-named deputies, declared to be canonical, and confirmed accordingly, commanding the religious Dames to obey her as their lawful Abbess, all having been done as above said.

W. de Potter, Priest.
P. le Bolenger, Priest.
Attestamus in monasterio nobilissimarum monialium Anglarum ordinis Sti. Benedicti, in hac civitate Gandavensi, coram Reverendis admodum Dominis Gulielmo de Potter et Petro le Bolenger (Euenjote) cathedralis Ecclesiae Sti. Bavonis canonicis a Capitulo dicte Ecclesiae (sede vacante) ad infrascripta specialiter deputatis, assistente Reverendo admodum Domino Patritio Everard canonico Ecclesiae Ste Pharaildis presentibus Revdo Dno Jacobo Whetenhall monasterii confessorio et Revde Patre Philippo Wright Societatis Jesu hac 12 Julii 1730.
Eadem die post celebratam Missam de Spiritu Sancto per primo supranominatum deputatum, et habito ad religiosas sermone circa electionem novae Abbatissae in locum nuper ; defunctae reverendae Dominae Marias Knatchbull, processum fuit juxta formam Sancti Concilii Tridentini et constitutiones hujus Monasterii eidem conformes, ad supradictam electionem in qua in primo scrutinio Domina Maria Magdalena (Lucy) habuit quatuor suffragia, Dna Winefrida (Lucy) septem, Dna Cecilia Tyldesley undecim, et e mus per hoc scrutinium juxta constitutiones non esset electio, processum fuit ad secundum scrutinium, in qua Dna Maria Magdalena Lucy habuit duo suffragia, Dna Winefrida (Lucy) sex, et Dna Cecilia Tyldesley quatuordecim, adeoque turn adhuc non esset electio, processum est ad tertium scrutinium, juxta easdem constitutiones hujus monasterii ballottando, ac jamprimis pro Dna Maria Magdalena Lucy, quae habuit tantum duo suffragia; deinde balottatum fuit pro Dna Winefrida Lucy quae habuit septem suffragia. Denique balottatum fuit pro Diia Cecilia Tyldesley quae habuit quindecim suffragia, adeoque dicta Dna Cecilia Tyldesley canonice electa fuit Abbatissa hujus monasterii ; quam electionem nos supradicti deputati canonicam esse declaramus et confirmamus, mandantes Dominis monialibus eidem uti legitime suae Abbatissae obedire, ut supra actum. [FN1]

G. de Potter, Pbr.
P. le Bolenger, Pbr.

1. Annals of the English Benedictines of Ghent, 1894

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