George Anselm Touchet

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George Anselm Touchet, also spelt Tuchet, (died 1689 or earlier) was the Roman Catholic chaplain of Queen Catherine of Braganza, the wife of King Charles II.[1]

The second son of Mervyn Tuchet, 2nd Earl of Castlehaven, by his marriage to Elizabeth Barnham, and a younger brother of James Tuchet, 3rd Earl of Castlehaven, Touchet began life as George Tuchet in Stalbridge, Dorset. In 1631, his father was convicted and executed for various sexual crimes, including rape and sodomy.[2] In 1643 Touchet became a Benedictine monk at St Gregory's, Douai, and was clothed a monk under the name of Anselm. After the Restoration of the Stuarts he was made chaplain to Queen Caroline, with an apartment at St James's Palace and subsequently another at Somerset House, and with an allowance of £100 a year.

Touchet's Historical collections, a work of Catholic controversy, appeared in 1674, and he was banished from England the following year. In 1682 he was debarred by an Act of Parliament from succeeding to his brother's earldom and estates. An abridged version of his manuscript translation of a devotional work by the French mystic Constantine Barbanson (1581–1632) was published in 1928 as The Secret Paths of Divine Love.[3]


  • Historical collections out of several grave Protestant historians concerning the changes of religion and the strange confusions following from thence, 1674. Reissued 'with an Addition' in 1686.
  • The Secret Paths of Divine Love, 1928. Tr. from French of Constantine Barbanson, abridged by a nun of Stanbrook Abbey, ed. with introduction by Dom Justin McCann


  1. ^ George Anselm Touchet
  2. ^ Thompson Cooper, ‘Touchet, George (d. before 1689?)’, rev. Dominic Aidan Bellenger, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 10 Jan 2009
  3. ^ Michael Mullett, in his introduction to fascimile extracts from Historical collections, claims The Secret Paths of Divine Love was published by the Ascetical Society in 1858. Mullett, ed., English Catholicism 1680-1830. Volume I. English Catholic Writings on Religious Controversies 1685-1736, 2006, pp. 217-8