For years he thought Frederick Hattersley, despite his extraordinary in-depth knowledge of the history of the Catholic Church and the arcane workings of the Vatican, had been a local government clerk or else unemployed. But upon his death, he received a condolence letter from a bishop informing him that his father had been a Catholic priest. Father Hattersley had performed the wedding ceremony. Two weeks later the priest and the bride ran away together. For the next forty-five years they lived in bliss - married after my mothers first husband died in 1956. Lord Hattersley in his book The Catholics At the time Enid Hattersley was married to John OHara, a miner. She told her son, then aged in his 40s, that she had left her first husband after falling in love with the priest when he arrived at her workplace at the local coal merchants to order a delivery of coal. Over time, the two grew fond of each other and eventually Enid and Frederick ran off. Or at least thats how Enid Hatterlsey, who went on to become Lord Mayor of Sheffield, told it. View photos Roy Hattersley, Labour MP, Westminster Bridge, London, 1960s. - Credit: Heritage Images/Getty Images More Lord Hattersley, 84, told The Telegraph: My parents met when he was instructing her to join the Catholic Church, they fell in love and they decided nothing could be done about it. He officiated at the wedding ceremony and they ran away two to three weeks later. My father and I were very close. It was a very hard act for him to walk away from the church and I was very proud of him for doing that. Lord Hattersley has alluded to the extraordinary affair before, writing a new introduction to his 1983 autobiography A Yorkshire Boyhood as long ago as 2001 following the death of his mother in May that year.
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