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Nicholas Horner



Layman and martyr, born at Grantley, Yorkshire, England, date of birth unknown; died at Smithfield, 4 March, 1590. He appears to have been following the calling of a tailor in London, when he was arrested on the charge of harbouring Catholic priests. He was confined for a long time in a damp and noisome cell, where he contracted bloodpoisoning in one leg, which it became necessary to amputate. It is said that during this operation Horner was favoured with a vision, which acted as an anodyne to his sufferings. He was afterwards liberated, but when he was again found to be harbouring priests he was convicted of felony, and as he refused to conform to the public worship of the Church by law established, was condemned. On the eve of his execution, he had a vision of a crown of glory hanging over his head, which filled him with courage to face the ordeal of the next day. The story of this vision was told by him to a friend, who in turn transmitted it by letter to Father Robert Southwell S.J., 18 March, 1590. Horner was hanged, drawn and quartered because he had relieved and assisted Christopher Bales, seminary priest and martyr, b. at Cunsley, Durham, 1564, d. on the Scaffold at Fetter Lane, London 4 March, 1590. Father Bales was cruelly tortured in prison, although he was a consumptive; and was condemned merely for being a priest.

GILLOW, Bibl. Dict. Eng.. Cath., s. v.; CHALLONER, Memoirs, (Edinburgh, 1878), I, 166, 169, 218; RIBADENEIRA, Appendix Schismatis Anglicani (1610), 25; MORRIS, Troubles, 3rd series.

C. F. Wemyss Brown.








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