THE DEFEATS OF HEYWOOD
JASPER HEYWOOD REMAINED at large in England for over two years. During this period he returned at least once to the north, spending time also at the universities, especially Oxford, where he had made his reputation. But most of his work was in and around London, where he evidently stayed at the Syminges home some of the time. One of these occasions can be used to illustrate the kind of problems Heywood encountered in his missionary work.
With the increasing severity of persecution, terror began to grip the Catholic community, especially some missionary priests who were particularly vulnerable to detection because they had to observe England's profusion of old-fashioned Catholic fast days. Some of the missionaries, including Heywood, had spent years in Europe, where in accordance with the reforms of the Council of Trent, bishops had long since significantly reduced the number of fast days. Now missionaries began to agitate for adoption of such regulations, even though the Trent Council's decrees had never been promulgated in England because of the Protestant establishment and the absence of a Catholic hierarchy.
Under Heywood's direction, a "synod" was convened in East Anglia where, despite many a fervent objection in the name of respect for tradition, and in spite of questions raised about Heywood's authority, it was decided that priests and Catholics generally need not observe the traditional obligations so long as dangerous conditions prevailed. Objections to this decision were raised by many older, Marian priests, including one Alban Dolman, who "required of Fa. Heywood to see his Commission." When Heywood could not show any such document, Dolman asserted that "in defence of the olde customes of the Church he would