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Ven. Robert Nutter





English martyr; b. at Burnley, Lancashire, c. 1550; executed at Lancaster, 26 July, 1600. He entered Brasenose College, Oxford in 1564 or 1565, and, with his brother John, also a martyr (see , became a student of the English College, Reims. Having been ordained priest, 21 Dec., 1581, he returned to England. On 2 Feb., 1583-4 he was committed to the Tower, where he remained in the pit forty-seven days, wearing irons for forty-three days, and twice subjected to the tortures of "the scavenger's daughter". On 10 November, 1584, he was again consigned to the pit, where he remained until, on 21 Jan., 1584-5, he, with twenty other priests and one layman, was shipped aboard the "Mary Martin" of Colchester, at Tower Wharf. Landing at Boulogne, 2 Feb., he revisited Rome in July, but, on 30 November, was again committed to prison in London, this time to Newgate, under the alias of Rowley. In 1587 he was removed to the Marshalsea, and thence, in 1589-90, was sent to Wisbech Castle, Cambridgeshire. There, in 1597, he signed a petition to Father Garnet in favour of having a Jesuit superior, but, on 8 Nov., 1598, he and his fellow martyr, Venerable Edward Thwing, with others, besought the pope to institute an archpriest.

Venerable Edward Thwing was the second son of Thomas Thwing, of Heworth, near York, and Jane (née Kellet, of York), his wife. He was at the English College, Reims, 12 July to 12 August, 1583; and 20 July, 1585, to 2 Sept., 1587, having spent the interval with the Jesuits at Pont-à-Mousson. On 2 Sept., 1587 he set out for Rome, returning to become a reader in Greek and Hebrew, and a professor of rhetoric and logic. He was ordained priest at Laon in the following December. On 4 Nov., 1592, he went to Spa suffering from ulcer in the knee. He returned to the English College, which had in the meantime been transferred from Reims to Douai, and went on the mission in 1597. He seems to have been immediately arrested and sent to Wisbech, whence he and Nutter escaped to Lancashire, were arrested, May, 1600, tried at the next assizes and condemned for being priests. Both suffered on the same day.

Catholic Record Society Publications (London, privately printed 1905-), I, 110, II, 248, 252, 256, 270, 273, 277, 279, 282; III, 16, 156, 384, 385, 398; Challoner, Memoirs of Missionary Priests, I, 120-21; Knox, First and Second Diaries of the English College, Douai, passim; Gillow, Bibl. Dict. Eng. Cath., V, 203; Wainewright, Ven. John Nutter in Catholic Truth Society's penny biographies; Hollinshed, Chronicles, IV (London, 1807-8), 554-7; Foster, Glover's Visitation of Yorks (London, privately printed 1875), 230; Oxford Historical Society Publications LV (Oxford, 1910), 33.

John B. Wainewright.








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