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RECUSANTS, or POPISH RECUSANTS, Eng. law. Persons who refuse to make the declarations against popery, and such as promote, encourage, or profess the popish religion.
     2. These are by law liable to restraints, forfeitures and inconveniences, which are imposed upon them by various acts of parliament. Happily in this country no religious sect has the ascendency, and all persons are free to profess what religion they conscientiously believe to be the right one.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
It will be of interest to scholars with particular interests like Donne or English recusants, who might choose the pages related to these topics.
As this reveals, the Simpson players did not confine themselves to performing before recusants despite their reputation as popish players, just as they did not confine the membership of the troupe to recusant Catholics.
Paulet informed Walsingham that "there were many recusants and other suspected papists within 12 miles of Tutbury, whose wives are not unlikely to do bad offices." If the Scottish Queen needed willing carriers to convey messages back and forth between herself and her supporters, Staffordshire had them to spare.
Catholic "recusants", refuseniks, were on the run, going to Mass in the woods, martyrs were hanging from trees - after having their fingernails pulled out first to force them to betray the whereabouts of others.
For Shakespeare and his contemporaries, Bohemia was a place of religious tolerance that contrasted with the persecution of Catholic recusants in the later years of Elizabeth's reign.
The areas covered include lay-clerical collaboration in Dutch Catholic communities, the role of the clergy and laity in areas denominated 'missions', mixed marriages in Holland, relations between Recusants and their neighbours in England, burial of the dead in the Dutch Republic, the effect of the Reformation on Catholic ritual life in England, the use of the Southern Netherlands as refuges for English Catholics, a look at Recusants in Ireland, Catholic women in England, the care of orphans in Holland and the relationship between Catholic minorities and art.
Finally there were England's Catholics, the Recusants. In view of Erasmus's criticisms of Rome's conduct and even some dogmas, they were reluctant to claim him for their own side, but quick to deny that he supported the Protestant Reformation, or had even initiated it.
James's contributions to the Bodleian collection are thus an interesting complement to those of Bodley himself, who had collected a wide range of texts treasured by Catholic recusants and donated by them to his Oxford library.
Unfortunately, Roman Catholic records are patchy (not least because the religion was still technically illegal up to 1830).However, there are many references to 'recusants' and 'papists' in the early established church records.
This tax was imposed specifically on Catholic recusants as a punitive contribution to Elizabeth's campaigns against foreign Catholic threats; John Shakespeare's fellow defaulters were all Catholic.
He published a condemnation of the recusant priest Edmund Campion, when Campion was captured and executed in 1581; Munday dedicated a book to Richard Topcliffe, chief torturer for Elizabeth and James and eager persecutor of recusants; Munday published two sermons by John Calvin; and at least once in his long career Munday took service with the crown as a "pursuivant" or warrant officer, charged to find, inform on, and assist in the apprehension of traitors, especially recusants.