Hello again Anne-Marie,
thanks for relating your family stories regarding the catholic connection, I think there is quite likely a considerable amount of truth in them.
In that time churches wielded an immense amount of power over the general populace. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that Robert & Sarah were virtually blackmailed by the Catholic priest of the area, with threats of exposure about his earlier affair, into raising their children in that faith. There are plenty of other annotated cases of such things happening, and the higher the social status of the person involved, the greater leverage the priests had.
I don't have much further documented research on Robert, but if you want what I have on the rest of the family [with my working notes] send me an email direct to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a preference of file type, I might be able to oblige if you mention it.
Cheers from Mark Moorhouse
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