We are part of Province 15 which has Circles spread across much of the East Midlands. Our name derives from the fact that we cover the area around Mansfield, Sutton-in-Ashfield and much of North Nottinghamshire, part of which is known as The Dukeries.

The Dukeries is a remarkable area in the north of Nottinghamshire. It has housed at least four ducal families down the years. The history of the Dukeries gives an intriguing background into Sherwood Forest’s long association with England’s nobility and a few key historical events. It covered

  1. Clumber Park, the principal seat of the Dukes of Newcastle, is now a National Trust property which is used occasionally for concerts and country fairs;
  2. Thoresby Hall, home to the Dukes of Kingston and later the Earls of Manvers, which is now a country house hotel with spa and is currently owned by the Warner Leisure Group;
  3. Worksop Manor, which is no longer standing, was once the seat of George Talbot, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, and was where Mary Queen of Scots was kept prisoner; Talbot was the fourth husband to Bess of Hardwick who was also responsible for Chatsworth and Hardwick Halls. The manor was descended by marriage to the Duke of Norfolk and it remained in the family until 1840 when it was sold to the Duke of Newcastle of nearby Clumber Park; and
  4. Welbeck Abbey which was first mentioned in the Domesday Book and eventually came into the hands of the first Duke of Newcastle, followed by the Earls and Dukes of Portland and until recently, the Abbey was leased to the Ministry of Defence as an army training college.

A Brief History of Mansfield and Dukeries Circle

On Tuesday 25th April 1961, in response to the petition presented by Brother President-Elect, Neil Ward-McQuaid, Grand President J McMurray granted a charter to the Mansfield and Dukeries Circle making it the 197th Circle of the Catenian Association.

Grand President J McMurray presided at the inauguration meeting which was attended by 129 brothers representing 6 Provinces and 17 Circles.

The Mansfield and Dukeries Circle was made up of 10 brothers from Nottingham 20 Circle and 27 gentlemen from the area who were admitted as Founder Members of the new Circle; thus the Circle began with a healthy 37 brothers. Interestingly, the minutes of the first meeting mention the apology from another prospective member whose name does not appear in the original list of Founder Members and also omit one who does.

At the outset, the Circle consisted of many local Catholic doctors and became well known across Province as the Medical Circle. In recent years the number of teachers has steadily grown; however our present roll represents a wide range of professions, as it should.

The Circle decided to meet on the 4th Tuesday of the month, at the Swan Hotel in Mansfield, except for December and March, when they met at the Royal Hotel in Worksop, and July, when they met at the Normanton Inn in Clumber Park. This was to ensure that the “Dukeries” part of the Circle’s name was kept alive and to enable brothers from outside of Mansfield to reduce their travelling on those occasions.

The Circle currently meets at Portland College in Ravenshead.

Founder Member Brothers

(from minutes of first meeting)

FW Bastock K McCarthy
H Bell P McCormick
J Bramley J McKenny
T Burgess M McSwiney*
D Cahill H Maher
D Cleland D Murdoch
J Coghlan T O’Donovan*
A Culshaw E O’Sullivan*
N Devine F Quigley*
M Eady J Shennan
J Glynn F Tunnacliffe*
R Gray L van Casteren
M Harrison J Walsh
T Heffron N Ward-McQuaid*
G Hughes* J Wheatley*
S Karwatowski (Apologies were received from:
D Kilbride* J Fielding
E Lee* G Kelly
F McCallum W Shyrane)

10 brothers from Nottingham 20 (designated by a star, *, in the above list) moved to form the nucleus of Mansfield and Dukeries Circle.


1961-62 Mr. J.N. Ward-McQuaid RIP 1991-92 Mr. M. Kirk
1962-63 Dr. F.G. Hughes RIP 1992-93 Mr. C. Kibbler
1963-64 Dr. T.J. O’Donovan 1993-94 Mr. R. Geeves
1964-65 Dr. T. Heffron RIP 1994-95 Mr. M. Kirk
1965-66 Mr. J.F. Shennan RIP 1995-96 Mr. E. Back
1966-67 Mr. J.E.B. Wheatley RIP 1996-97 Dr. C. John
1967-68 Dr. P. McCormack RIP 1997-98 Mr. P. Crowe
1968-69 Mr. E.F. Lee RIP 1998-99 Mr. M. King
1969-70 Mr. L. van Casteren RIP 1999-00 Mr. R. Neale
1970-71 Dr. D. Parkin RIP 2000-01 Mr. B. Dickinson
1971-72 Mr. A.J. Michelson RIP 2001-02 Mr. K. Grabowski
1972-73 Dr. J.G. Kelly RIP 2002-03 Mr. D. Shelley
1973-74 Mr. L.M. Florin 2003-04 Mr. R. Dillon
1974-75 Mr. L. Tindall 2004-05 Mr. R. Dillon
1975-76 Mr. J. McGuigan RIP 2005-06 Mr. R. Dillon
1976-77 Mr. D.L. Cleland RIP 2006-07 Dr. F. Barrett
1977-78 Mr. L.M. Florin 2007-08 Mr. A. Bukowski
1978-79 Mr. J. Eadie RIP 2008-09 Mr. P. Wilson
1979-80 Mr. M. King 2009-10 Mr. J. Campbell
1980-81 Mr. P. Hartford RIP 2010-11 Mr. K. Grabowski
1981-82 Mr. T. Roguska RIP 2011-12 Mr. M Dillon
1982-83 Mr. R. Beare 2012-13 Dr. M. Powell RIP
1983-84 Mr. G. Smith RIP 2013-14 Mr. P. Williamson
1984-85 Mr. C. Clark RIP 2014-15 Mr. P. Williamson
1985-86 Mr. J. Fairclough 2015-16 Mr. M Dillon
1986-87 Mr. J. Squire 2016-17 Mr. P. Crowe
1987-88 Mr. D. Shelley 2017-18 Mr. J. Fitzpatrick
1988-89 Mr. R. Dillon 2018-19 Mr. J. Fitzpatrick
1989-90 Mr. J. McAuley
1990-91 Mr. T. Wrynne RIP


Deceased Brothers and Wives

Please keep the following deceased members and wives in your prayers. We remember them all at our special Mass for Deceased Brothers on the first Friday in November each year.

Frank Tunnicliffe Pat McCormack Dennis McCarthy
Desmond Kilbride Jack Gregory Eugene Lee
Michael Eady Morgan McSwiney John Glynn
Nicholas Devine Godfrey Smith Lou O’Shea
Desmond Cahill Ted Roguska David Cleland
Timothy Burgess Jim Eadie Tom Wrynne
Michael Harrison Paddy Kelly John Murphy
Greg Kelly Jim Fielding Len Tyndall
Ted Dixon Chris Clark Gerry Holmes
Fred Cammack Neil Ward-McQuaid Paul Elliott
Harry Parker Frank O’Connor Malcolm Powell
Peter Hertford Jack Wheatley Gianni Bordogna
Tom Heffron Leo Mulrooney Brian Freestone
Frank Turner Jim Shennon Roy Geeves
Stefan Karwatowski Barry Hale
Paddy Cosgrove David Parkin
Deceased Wives
Sheila Cleland Sheila Callaghan Janet Eadie
Maureen Clark Agness O’Shea Mary Smith
Christine Illsley Nan Fielding Tess McSwiney
Anne Freestone Christine Ripley Margaret Roguska
Liz King Elizabeth Powell Margaret Kilbride
Rona Wheatley