It is worth remembering that after the Universal Restoration of the Jesuits in 1814, it wasn’t plain sailing. Jesuits in many countries would face different periods of opposition and exile. There were waves of anti-clericalism that would often have the Society of Jesus as its first target. However there would not be the sustained and coordinated attack that the Jesuits endured before the Supression. Today in 1836 the Jesuits were expelled from Spain and the ‘Holy House’ in Loyola was taken. This iconic place of pilgrimage were Ignatius was born in 1491, and had his famous conversion in 1521 was a bitter loss.
The background of this exile was the outbreak of a Civil War in Spain that is often called ‘The First Carlist War’ lasted between 1833-39, and was fought by factions who disputed the succession of the throne. On the one side those who favoured Isabelle II the young daughter of King Ferdinand who died in 1833 and her regent Maria Christina who was a liberal and reformer. On the other side to the liberals were the supporters of the Kings brother Carlos V, who favoured a return to absolute monarchy, and were called the Carlists. Maria Christina (the mother of Isabelle) desperate to gain support made many concessions to the liberals, who often had an anti-clerical agenda.
It was an unsettled time, and in the Summer of 1834 the agitated people of Madrid were to suffer a cholera outbreak. It was the last straw that broke the camels back – they rioted and rumours spread that it was the Jesuits who had poisoned the water supply. The rioting Madrilenos turned on all religious killing 40 Franciscans, 15 Jesuits (4 priests, 8 scholastics & 3 brothers), 7 Dominicans. It fed an anti-clericalism that seemed always to be simmering in Spain, and a year later the Jesuits were expelled. The Carlists were often associated with the Basque Country – and it is no surprise that the anti-Jesuit faction in the court of the Spanish Monarchy was often anti-Basque and associated the Jesuits with the Basque home of Ignatius.