English Confessors and Martyrs (1534-1729)

Though the resistance of the English as a people to the Reformation compares very badly with the resistance offered by several other nations, the example given by those who did stand firm is remarkably interesting and instructive. (1) They suffered theextreme penalty for maintaining the unity of the Church and the Supremacy of the Apostolic See, the doctrines most impugned by the reformation in all lands, and at all times. (2) They maintained their faith almost entirely by the most modern methods, and they were the first to so maintain it, i.e., by education of the clergy in the seminaries, and of Catholic youth in colleges, at the risk, and often at the cost of life. (3) The tyranny they had to withstand was, as a rule, not the sudden violence of a tyrant, but the continuous oppression of laws sanctioned by the people in Parliament, passed on the specious plea of political and national necessity, and operating for centuries with an almost irresistible force which the law acquires when acting for generations in conservative and law-abiding counties. (4) The study of their causes and their acts is easy. The number of martyrs are many; their trials are spread over a long time. We have in many cases the papers of the prosecution as well as those of the defense, and the voice of Rome is frequently heard pronouncing on the questions of the debate, and declaring that this or that matter is essential, on which no compromise can be permitted; or by her silence she lets it be understood that some other formula may pass.

The cause of the beatification of the English Martyrs is important not for England only, but for all missionary countries, where its precedents may possibly be followed. The English cause is a very ancient one. Pope Gregory XIII, between 1580 and 1585, made several important viva voce concessions. Relics of these martyrs might, in default of others, be used to consecrate altars, a Te Deum might be publically sung on the receipt of the news of their martyrdoms, and their pictures with their names attached might be placed in the church of the English College, Rome. These permissions were given without any systematic inquiry that we know of. Pope Urban VII, in 1642, commenced such an inquiry, and though the outbreak of the civil war in 1642 postponed indefinitely the public progress of the cause, a list was drawn up by the vicar Apostolic, Dr. Richard Smith, Bishop of Chalcedon, which was subsequently amplified and published by Dr. Richard Challoner. It was not until 1855 that the cause was revived, when Canon John Morris (a Jesuit after 1866) became its apostle. After several unsuccessful petitions, as that of the Third Synod of Westminster in 1859, to obtain an immediate sanction for their cultus by papal decree, a formal "ordinary process" was held in London, June to September, 1874. The work was one of much difficulty, first because nothing of the sort had been attempted in England before, and secondly because of the multitude of the martyrs. Largely, however, through the public spirit of the Fathers of the London Oratory, who devoted themselves to it unitedly; success was achieved, both in gathering together a body of evidence, and in fulfilling the multifarious ceremonial precautions on which the Roman jurists so strongly insist. After the cause had been for twelve years in the Roman courts, two decrees were issued which, broadly speaking, gave full force and efficacy to the two ancient papal ordinations before mentioned (see BEATIFICATION AND CANONIZATION).

Thus Pope Gregory's concession resulted in the equivalent beatification of sixty-three martyrs mentioned by name in the pictures (at first, in 1888, fifty-four were admitted; in 1895, eight more were added, with one not in the Roman pictures), while the lists drawn up by Bishops Smith and Challoner led to the "admission of the cause" of two hundred and forty-one martyrs (all but twelve post-Gregorian), who are therefore called "Venerables". Forty-four were left with their fate still in suspense, and are called Dilati. Except seven, these are all "Confessors", who certainly died in prison for their faith, though it is not yet proven that they died precisely because of their imprisonment. There is yet another class to be described. While the foregoing cause was pending, great progress was being made with the arrangement of papers in the Public Record Office of London, so that we now know immeasurably more of the persecution and its victims than before the cause began. In short, over 230 additional sufferers seem possibly worthy of being declared martyrs. They are called Prætermissi, because they were passed over in the first cause. A new cause was therefore held at Westminster (September, 1888, to August, 1889), and the proceedings have been sent to Rome. For reasons which it is not necessary to touch upon here, it was thought best to include every possible claimant, even those of whom there was very little definite information, and the far-reaching cause of Queen Mary Stuart. This, however, proved a tactical mistake. An obscure cause needs as much attention as a clear cause, or more. Moreover, the Roman courts are, on the one hand, so short-handed, that they grudge giving men to a work which will lead to little result, and on the other hand they are overwhelmed with causes which certainly need attention. In order to facilitate progress, therefore, the cause has been split up; the case of Queen Mary has been handed over to the hierarchy of Scotland, and other simplifications have been attempted; nevertheless the cause of the Prætermissi so far hangs fire. Apostolic letters for a Processus de Scriptus were issued by the Sacred Congregation on Rites on 24 March, 1899, ordering the then Archbishop of Westminster to gather up copies of all the extant writings of the martyrs declared Venerable. This proved a lengthy task, and when complete, the collection comprised nearly 500 scripta, and over 2000 pages. It was not completed till 17 June, 1904. Then, by special concession, four censors were appointed to draw up a special censura in England, and this was forwarded to Rome, where, after further consideration, a decree was drawn up and confirmed by the Pope on 2 March, 1906, declaring that none of the writings produced would hinder the cause of the martyrs now under discussion. In the course of the same year a further decree was obtained allowing altars for the beati, but not without many restrictions.


The sixty-three blessed will be noted in detail elsewhere, and the principal authorities will be there noted. Their names are here arranged in companies when they were tried or died together.

Under King Henry VIII
  • Cardinal: John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, 22 June, 1535.

  • Lord Chancellor: Sir Thomas More, 6 July, 1535.

  • Carthusians: John Houghton, Robert Lawrence, Augustine Webster, 4 May, 1535; Humphrey Middlemore, William Exmew, Sebastian Newdigate, 19 June, 1535; John Rochester, James Walworth, 11 May, 1537; Thomas Johnson, William Greenwood, John Davye, Robert Salt, Walter Pierson, Thomas Green, Thomas Scryven, Thomas Redyng, Richard Bere, June-September, 1537; Robert Horne, 4 August, 1540.

  • Benedictines: Richard Whiting, Hugh Farringdon, abbots, 15 November, 1539; Thomas Marshall (or John Beche), 1 December, 1539; John Thorne, Richard James, William Eynon, John Rugg, 15 Nov., 1539.

  • Doctors of Divinity: Thomas Abel, Edward Powell, Richard Fetherstone, 30 July, 1540.

  • Other secular priests: John Haile, 4 May 1535; John Larke, 7 March, 1544.

  • Other religious orders: Richard Reynold, Brigittine (4 May, 1535); John Stone, O.S.A., 12 May, 1538; John Forrest, O.S.F., 22 May, 1538.

  • Laymen and women: Adrian Fortescue, Knight of St. John, 9 July, 1539; Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, 28 May, 1541; German Gardiner, 7 March, 1544.

Under Queen Elizabeth
  • Martyrs connected with the Excommunication: John Felton, 8 Aug., 1570; Thomas Plumtree p., 4 Jan., 1571; John Storey, D.C.L., 1 June, 1571; Thomas Percy, Earl of Northumberland, 22 Aug., 1572; Thomas Woodhouse p., 13 June, 1573.

  • First martyrs from the seminaries: Cuthbert Mayne, Protomartyr of Douai College, 29 Nov., 1577; John Nelson p., and S.J. before death, 3 Feb., 1578; Thomas Nelson, church student, 7 Feb., 1578; Everard Hanse p., 31 July, 1581.

  • Martyrs of the Catholic Revival: Edmund Campion, S.J., Ralph Sherwin, Protomartyr of the English College, Rome, Alexander Briant p., and S.J. before death, 1 Dec., 1581; John Payne p., 2 April, 1582; Thomas Ford p., John Shert p., Robert Johnson p., 28 May, 1582; William Filby p., Luke Kirby p., Lawrence Richardson p., Thomas Cottom p., and S.J. before death, 30 May, 1582.

  • York martyrs: William Lacey p., Richard Kirkman p., 22 Aug., 1582; James Thomson p., 28 Nov., 1582; William Hart p., 15 March, 1583; Richard Thirkeld p., 29 May, 1583.


Separate notices will be given of the more notable martyrs and groups of martyrs. But, though they all died heroically, their lives were so retired and obscure that there is generally but little known about them. It may, however, be remarked that, being educated in most cases in the same seminaries, engaged in the same work, and suffering under the same procedures and laws the details which we know about some of the more notable martyrs (of whom special biographies are given) are generally also true for the more obscure. The authorities, too, will be the same in both cases.

Under King Henry VIII (12)
  • 1537-38: Anthony Brookby, Thomas Belchiam, Thomas Cort, Franciscans, thrown into prison for preaching against the king's supremacy. Brookby was strangled with his own girdle, the others died of ill treatment.

  • 1539: Friar Waire, O.S.F., and John Griffith p. (generally known as Griffith Clarke), Vicar of Wandsworth, for supporting the papal legate, Cardinal Pole, drawn and quartered, (8 July) at St. Thomas Waterings; Sir Thomas Dingley, Knight of St. John, beheaded, 10 July, with Bl. Adrian Fortescue. John Travers, Irish Augustinian, who had written against the supremacy; before execution his hand was cut off and burnt, but the writing fingers were not consumed, 30 July.

  • 1540-1544: Edmund Brindholme p., of London, and Clement Philpot l., of Calais, attainted for having "adhered to the Pope of Rome", hanged and quartered at Tyburn, 4 Aug., 1540; Sir David Gonson (also Genson and Gunston), Knight of St. John, son of Vice-Admiral Gonson, attainted for "adhering" to Cardinal Pole, hanged and quartered at St. Thomas Waterings, 1 July, 1541; John Ireland p., once a chaplain to More, condemned and executed with Bl. John Larke, 1544; Thomas Ashby l., 29 March, 1544.

Under Queen Elizabeth
  • 1583: John Slade l., 30 Oct., Winchester, with John Bodley l., 2 Nov., Andover.

  • 1584: William Carter l., 11 Jan., Tyburn; George Haydock p., with James Fenn p., Thomas Hemerford p., John Nutter p., John Munden p., 12 Feb., Tyburn; James Bell p., with John Finch l., 20 April, Lancaster; Richard White l., 17 Oct., Wrexham.

  • 1585: Thomas Alfield p., with Thomas Webley l., 6 July, Tyburn; Hugh Taylor p., with Marmaduke Bowes l., 26 Nov., York. From this time onwards almost all the priests suffered under law of 27 Elizabeth, merely for their priestly character.

  • 1586: Edward Stransham p., with Nicholas Woodfen p., 21 Jan., Tyburn; Margaret Clitherow l., 25 March, York; Richard Sergeant p., with William Thompson p., 20 April, Tyburn; Robert Anderton p., with William Marsden p., 25 April, Isle of Wight; Francis Ingleby p., 3 June, York; John Finglow p., 8 Aug., York; John Sandys p., 11 Aug., Gloucester; John Adams p., with John Lowe p., 8 Oct., Tyburn, and Richard Dibdale p., 8 Oct; Tyburn; Robert Bickerdike p., 8 Oct., York; Richard Langley l., 1 Dec., York.

  • 1587: Thomas Pilchard p., 21 March, Dorchester; Edmund Sykes p., 23 March, York; Robert Sutton p., 27 July, Stafford; Stephen Rowsham p., July or earlier, Gloucester; John Hambley p., about same time, Chard in Somerset; George Douglas p., 9 Sept., York; Alexander Crowe, 13 Nov., York.

  • 1588: Nicholas Garlick p., with Robert Ludlum p. and Richard Sympson p., 24 July, Derby; Robert Morton p., and Hugh Moor l., in Lincoln's Inn Fields; William Gunter p., Theatre, Southwark; Thomas Holford p., Clerkenwell; William Dean p., and Henry Webley l., Mile End Green; James Claxton p.; Thomas Felton, O.S.F., Hounslow. These eight were condemned together and suffered on the same day, 28 Aug. Richard Leigh p., Edward Shelly l., Richard Martin l., Richard Flower (Floyd or Lloyd) l., John Roche l., Mrs. Margaret Ward, all condemned with the last, and all suffered 30 Aug., Tyburn. William Way p., 23 Sept., Kingston-on-Thames; Robert Wilcox p., with Edward Campion p., Christopher Buxton p., Robert Windmerpool l., 1 Oct., Canterbury; Robert Crocket p., with Edward James p., 1 Oct., Chichester; John Robertson p., 1 Oct., Ipswich; William Hartley p., Theatre, Southwark, with John Weldon (vere Hewett) p., Mile End Green, Robert Sutton l., Clerkenwell, and Richard Williams (Queen Mary priest, who was more probably executed in 1592, and his name, erroneously transferred here, seems to have pushed out that of John Symons, or Harrison), 5 Oct., Halloway; Edward Burden p., 29 Nov.,York; William Lampley l., Gloucester, day uncertain.

  • 1589: John Amias p., with Robert Dalby p., 16 March, York; George Nichols p., with Richard Yaxley p., Thomas Belson l., and Humphrey Pritchard l., 5 July, Oxford; William Spenser p., with Robert Hardesty l., 24 Sept., York.

  • 1590: Christopher Bayles p., Fleet Street, with Nicholas Horner l., Smithfield, and Alexander Blake, l., 4 March, Gray's Inn Lane; Miles Gerard p., with Francis Dicconson p., 30 April, Rochester; Edward Jones p., Conduit, Fleet Street, and Anthony Middleton p., 6 May, Clerkenwell; Edmund Duke p., with Richard Hill p., John Hogg p., and Richard Holliday p., 27 May, Durham.

  • 1591: Robert Thorpe p., with Thomas Watkinson l., 31 May, York; Monford Scott p., with George Beesley p., 2 July, Fleet Street, London; Roger Dicconson p., with Ralph Milner l., 7 July, Winchester; William Pikes l., day not known, Dorchester; Edmund Jennings p., with Swithin Wells l., Gray's Inn Fields; Eustace White p., with Polydore Plasden p., Brian Lacey l., John Masson l., Sydney Hodgson l., all seven, 10 Dec., Tyburn.

  • 1592: William Patenson p., 22 Jan., Tyburn; Thomas Pormort p., 20 Feb., St. Paul's Churchyard, London; Roger Ashton l., 23 June, Tyburn.

  • 1593: Edward Waterson p., 7 Jan. (but perhaps of the next year), Newcastle-on-Tyne; James Bird l., hanged 25 March, Winchester; Joseph Lampton p., 27 July, Newcastle-on-Tyne; William Davies p., 21 July, Beaumaris.

  • 1594: John Speed l., condemned for receiving a priest, 4 Feb., Durham; William Harrington p., 18 Feb., Tyburn; John Cornelius, S.J., with Thomas Bosgrave l., John Carey l., Patrick Salmon l., 4 July, Dorchester; John Boste p., Durham, with John Ingram p., Newcastle-on-Tyne, and George Swallowell, a convert minister, tried together, they suffered 24, 25, and 26 July, Darlington; Edward Osbaldeston p., 16 Nov., York.

  • 1595: Robert Southwell p., S.J., 21 Feb., Tyburn; Alexander Rawlins p., with Henry Walpole p., S.J., 7 April, York; William Freeman p., 13 Aug., Warwick; Philip Howard, Earl of Arundel, 19 Oct., Tower of London.

  • 1596: George Errington, gentleman, William Knight l., William Gibson l., Henry Abbott l., 29 Nov., York.

  • 1597: William Andleby p., with Thomas Warcop l., Edward Fulthrop l., 4 July, York.

  • 1598: John Britton l., 1 April, York; Peter Snow p., with Ralph Gromston l., 15 June, York; John Buckley O.S.F., 12 July, St. Thomas Waterings; Christopher Robertson p., 19 Aug., Carlisle; Richard Horner p., 4 Sept., York;

  • 1599: John Lion, l., 16 July, Oakham; James Dowdal, l., 13 Aug., Exeter.

  • 1600: Christopher Wharton p., 28 March, York; John Rigby l., 21 June, St. Thomas Waterings; Thomas Sprott p., with Thomas Hunt p., 11 July, Lincoln; Robert Nutter p., with Edward Thwing p., 26 July, Lancaster; Thomas Palasor p., with John Norton l., and John Talbot l., 9 Aug., Durham.

  • 1601: John Pibush p., 18 Feb., St. Thomas Waterings; Mark Barkworth, O.S.B., with Roger Filcock, S.J., and Anne Linne, 27 Feb., Tyburn; Thurstan Hunt p., with Robert Middleton p., 31 March, Lancaster; Nicholas Tichborne l., with Thomas Hackshot l., 24 Aug., Tyburn;

  • 1602: James Harrison p., with Anthony Battie or Bates l., 22 March, York; James Duckett l., 19 April, Tyburn; Thomas Tichborne p., with Robert Watkinson p., and Francis Page, S.J., 20 April, Tyburn.

  • 1603: William Richardson p., 17 Feb., Tyburn.

Under James I and Charles
  • 1604: John Sugar p., with Robert Grissold l., 16 July, Warwick; Lawrence Bailey l., 16 Sept., Lancaster;

  • 1605: Thomas Welborne l., with John Fulthering l., 1 Aug., York; William Brown l., 5 Sept., Ripon;

  • 1606: Martyrs at the time of the Powder Plot: Nicholas Owen, S.J., day unknown, Tower; Edward Oldcorne, S.J., with Robert Ashley, S.J., 7 April, Worcester. From this time to the end of the reign the martyrs might have saved their lives had they taken the condemned oath of allegiance. 1607: Robert Drury p., 26 Feb., Tyburn; 1608: Matthew Flathers p., 21 March, York; George Gervase, O.S.B., 11 April, Tyburn; Thomas Garnet, S.J., 23 June, Tyburn. 1610: Roger Cadwallador p., 27 Aug., Leominster; George Napper p., 9 No., Oxford; Thomas Somers p., 10 Dec., Tyburn; John Roberts, O.S.B., 10 Dec., Tyburn; 1612: William Scot, O.S.B., with Richard Newport p., 30 May, Tyburn; John Almond p., 5 Dec., Tyburn; 1616: Thomas Atkinson p., 11 March, York; John Thouless p., with Roger Wrenno l., 18 March, Lancaster; Thomas Maxfield p., 1 July, Tyburn; Thomas Tunstall p., 13 July, Norwich; 1618: William Southerne p., 30 April, Newcastle-under-Lyne. 1628: Edmund Arrowsmith, S.J., with Richard Herst l., 20 and 21 Aug., Lancaster.


All these suffered before the death of Oliver Cromwell.— 1641: William Ward p., 26 July, Tyburn; Edward Barlow, O.S.B., 10 Sept., Lancaster; 1642: Thomas Reynolds p., with Bartholomew Roe, O.S.B., 21 January, Tyburn; John Lockwood p., with Edmund Catherick p., 13 April, York; Edward Morgan p., 26 April, Tyburn; Hugh Green p., 19 Aug., Dorchester; Thomas Bullaker, O.S.F., 12 Oct., Tyburn; Thomas Holland, S.J., 12 Dec., Tyburn. 1643: Henry Heath, O.S.F., 17 April, Tyburn; Brian Cansfield, S.J., 3 Aug., York Castle; Arthur Bell, O.S.V., 11 Dec., Tyburn; 1644: Richard Price, colonel, 7 May, Lincoln; John Duckett p., with Ralph Corbin, S.J., 7 Sept., Tyburn; 1645: Henry Morse, S.J., 1 Feb., Tyburn; John Goodman p., 8 April, Newgate; 1646: Philip Powell, O.S.B., 30 June, Tyburn; John Woodcock, O.S.F., with Edward Bamber p., and Thomas Whitaker p., 7 Aug., Lancaster. 1651: Peter Wright, S.J., 19 May, Tyburn. 1654: John Southworth p., 28 June, Tyburn.

The Oates Plot

1678: Edward Coleman l., 3 Dec., Tyburn; Edward Mico, S.J., 3 Dec., in Newgate; Thomas Beddingfeld, 21 Dec., in Gatehouse Prison; 1679: William Ireland, S.J., with John Grove l., 24 Jan, Tyburn; Thomas Pickering O.S.B. 9, May, Tyburn; Thomas Whitbread S.J., with William Harcourt, S.J., John Fenwick, S.J., John Gavin or Green S.J., and Anthony Turner, S.J., 20 June, Tyburn; Francis Nevil, S.J., Feb., in Stafford Gaol; Richard Langhorne l., 14 July, Tyburn; William Plessington p., 19 July, Chester; Philip Evans, S.J., 22 July, with John Lloyd p., 22 July, Cardiff; Nicholas Postgate p., 7 Aug., York; Charles Mahoney, O.S.V., 12 Aug., Ruthin; John Wall, O.S.F., 29 Aug., Worcester; Francis Levinson, O.S.F., 11 Feb., in prison; John Kemble p., 22 Aug., Hereford; David Lewis, S.J., 27 Aug., Usk. 1680: Thomas Thwing p., 23 Oct., York; William Howard, Viscount Stafford, 29 Dec., Tower Hill. The cause of Irish martyr Oliver Plunkett, 1 July, Tower hill, was commenced with the above martyrs. The cause of his beatification is now being actively proceeded with by the Cardinal Archbishop of Armagh.


These, as has been explained above, are those "put off" for further proof. Of these, the majority were confessors, who perished after a comparatively short period of imprisonment, though definite proof of their death ex oerumnis is not forthcoming.

Under Queen Elizabeth (18)

Robert Dimock, hereditary champion of England, was arrested at Mass, and perished after a few weeks' imprisonment at Lincoln, 11 Sept., 1580; John Cooper, a young man, brought up by the writer, Dr. Nicholas Harpsfield, and probably a distributor of Catholic books, arrested at Dover and sent to the Tower, died of "hunger, cold, and stench", 1580; Mr. Ailworth (Aylword), probably of Passage Castle, Waterford, who admitted Catholics to Mass at his house, was arrested, and died after eight days, 1580; William Chaplain p., Thomas Cotesmore p., Roger Holmes p., Roger Wakeman p., James Lomax p., perished in 1584. Cotesmore was a bachelor of Oxford in 1586; of Wakeman's suffering several harrowing details are on record. Thomas Crowther p., Edward Pole p., John Jetter p., and Laurence Vaux p., perished in 1585; John Harrison p., 1586; Martin Sherson p., and Gabriel Thimelby p., 1587; Thomas Metham S.J., 1592; Eleanor Hunt and Mrs. Wells, gentlewomen, on unknown days in 1600 and 1602.

Under the Commonwealth (8)

Edward Wilkes p., died in York Castle before execution in 1642; Boniface Kempe (or Francis Kipton) and Idlephonse Hesketh (or William Hanson) O.S.B., professed of Montserrat, seized by Puritan soldiery in Yorkshire, and worried to death, 26 July (?), 1644; Richard Bradley S.J., b. at Bryning Hall, Lancs., 1605, of a well-known Catholic family, seized, imprisoned, but died before trial at Manchester, 20 Jan, 1640; John Felton, S.J., visiting another Father in Lincoln, was seized and so badly used that, when released (for no one appeared against him) he died within a month, 17 Feb., 1645; Thomas Vaughan of Cortfield p., and Thomas Blount p., imprisoned at Shrewsbury, d. at unknown date; Robert Cox, O.S.B., died at the Clink Prison, 1650.

During the Oates Plot (10)

Thomas Jennison S.J., d. after twelve months' imprisonment, 27 Sept., 1679. he had renounced a handsome inheritance in favour of his brother, who, nevertheless, having apostatized, turned king's evidence against him. William Lloyd, d. under sentence of death, Brecknock, 1679. Placid Aldham or John Adland (O.S.B.), a convert clergyman, chaplain to Queen Catherine of Braganza, d. under sentence in 1679. William Atkins, S.J., condemned at Stafford, was too deaf to hear the sentence. When it was shouted in his ear he turned and thanked the judge; he was reprieved and died in bonds, 7 March, 1681. Richard Birkett p., d. 1680 under sentence in Lancaster Castle; but ourmartyrologists seem to have made some confusion between him and John Penketh, S.J., a fellow prisoner (see Gillow, Cath. Rec. Soc., IV, pp. 431-440). Richard Lacey (Prince), S.J., Newgate, 11 March, 1680; William Allison p., York Castle, 1681; Edward Turner, S.J., 19 March, 1681, Gatehouse; Benedict Counstable, O.S.B., professed at Lamspring, 1669, 11 Dec., 1683, Durham Gaol; William Bennet (Bentney), S.J., 30 Oct., 1692, Leicester Gaol under William III.

Others put off for various causes (8)

John Mawson, 1614, is not yet sufficiently distinguished from John Mason, 1591; there is a similar difficulty between Matthias Harrison, assigned to 1599, and James Harrison, 1602; William Tyrrwhit, named by error for his brother Robert; likewise the identity of Thomas Dyer, O.S.B., has been been fully proved; James Atkinson, killed under torture by Topcliffe, but evidence is wanted of his consistency to the end. Fr. Henry Garnet, S.J., was he killed ex odio fidei, or was he believed to be guilty of the Powder Plot, by merely human misjudgment, not through religious prejudice? The case of Lawrence Hill and Robert Green at the time of the Oates Plot is similar. Was it due to odium fidei, or an unprejudiced error?

Martyrs on the scaffold

1534: Elizabeth Barton (The Holy Maid of Kent), with five companions: John Dering, O.S.B., Edward Bocking, O.S.B., Hugh Rich, O.S.F., Richard Masters p., Henry Gold p., 1537. Monks, 28. After the pilgrimage of grace and the rising of Lincolnshire many, probably several hundred, were executed, of whom no record remains. The following names, which do survive, are grouped under their respective abbeys or priories.

  • Barlings: Matthew Mackerel, abbot and Bishop of Chalcedon, Ord. Præm.

  • Bardney: John Tenent, William Cole, John Francis, William Cowper, Richard Laynton, Hugh Londale, monks.

  • Bridlington: William Wood, Prior.

  • Fountains: William Thyrsk, O. Cist.

  • Guisborough: James Cockerel, Prior.

  • Jervaulx: Adam Sedbar, Abbot; George Asleby, monk.

  • Kirkstead: Richard Harrison, Abbot; Richard Wade, William Swale, Henry Jenkinson, monks.

  • Lenten: Nicholas Heath, Prior; William Gylham, monk.

  • Sawlet: William Trafford, Abbot; Richard Eastgate, monk.

  • Whalley: John Paslew, Abbot; John Eastgate, William Haydock, monks.

  • Woburn: Robert Hobbes, Abbot; Ralph Barnes, sub-prior; Laurence Blonham, monk.

  • York: John Pickering, O.S.D., Prior.

  • Place unknown: George ab Alba Rose, O.S.A.

  • Priests: William Burraby, Thomas Kendale, John Henmarsh, James Mallet, John Pickering, Thomas Redforth.

  • Lords: Darcy and Hussey.

  • Knights: Francis Bigod, Stephen Hammerton, Thomas Percy.

  • Laymen (11): Robert Aske, Robert Constable, Bernard Fletcher, George Hudswell, Robert Lecche, Roger Neeve, George Lomley, Thomas Moyne, Robert Sotheby, Nicholas Tempest, Philip Trotter.

1538 (7): Henry Courtney, the Marquess of Exeter; Henry Pole, Lord Montague; Sir Edward Nevell and Sir Nicholas Carew; George Croft p., and John Collins p.; Hugh Holland l. Their cause was "adhering to the Pope, and his Legate, Cardinal Pole". 1540 (6): Lawrence Cook O. Carm., Prior of Doncaster; Thomas Empson, O.S.B.; Robert Bird p.; William Peterson p.; William Richardson p.; Giles Heron l. 1544 (3): Martin de Courdres, O.S.A., and Paul of St. William, O.S.A.; Darby Genning l. 1569, 1570 (8): Thomas Bishop, Simon Digby, John Fulthrope, John Hall, Christopher Norton, Thomas Norton, Robert Pennyman, Oswald Wilkinson,laymen, who suffered, like Blessed Thomas Percy, Earl of Northumberland, on the occasion of the Northern Rising. Various Years (6): Thomas Gabyt, O. Cist., 1575; William Hambleton p., 1585; Roger Martin p., 1592; Christopher Dixon, O.S.A., 1616; James Laburne, 1583; Edward Arden, 1584.

Martyrs in chains

Bishops (2): Richard Creagh, Archbishop of Armagh, in Tower of London; Thomas Watson, Bishop of Lincoln, in Wisbeach Castle.

Priests in London Prisons (18): Austin Abbott, Richard Adams, Thomas Belser, John Boxall, D.D., James Brushford, Edmund Cannon, William Chedsey, D.D., Henry Cole, D.D., Anthony Draycott, D.D., Andrew Fryer, — Gretus, Richard Hatton, Nicholas Harpsfield, — Harrison, Francis Quashet, Thomas Slythurst, William Wood, John Young, D.D.

Laymen in London Prisons (35): Alexander Bales, Richard Bolbet, Sandra Cubley, Thomas Cosen, Mrs. Cosen, Hugh Dutton, Edward Ellis, Gabriel Empringham, John Fitzherbert, Sir Thomas Fitzherbert, John Fryer, Anthony Fugatio (Portuguese), — Glynne, David Gwynne, John Hammond (alias Jackson). Richard Hart, Robert Holland, John Lander, Anne Lander, Peter Lawson, Widow Lingon, Phillipe Lowe, — May, John Molineaux, Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, Richard Reynolds, Edmund Sexton, Robert Shelly, Thomas Sommerset, Francis Spencer, John Thomas, Peter Tichborne, William Travers, Sir Edward Waldegrave, Richard Weston.

Priests in York (12): John Ackridge, William Baldwin, William Bannersly, Thomas Bedal, Richard Bowes, Henry Comberford, James Gerard, Nicholas Grene, Thomas Harwood, John Pearson, Thomas Ridall, James Swarbrick.

Laymen in York (31): Anthony Ash, Thomas Blinkensop, Stephen Branton, Lucy Budge, John Chalmer, Isabel Chalmer, John Constable, Ralph Cowling, John Eldersha, Isabel Foster, — Foster, Agnes Fuister, Thomas Horsley, Stephen Hemsworth, Mary Hutton, Agnes Johnson, Thomas Layne, Thomas Luke, Alice Oldcorne, — Reynold, — Robinson, John Stable, Mrs. Margaret Stable, Geoffrey Stephenson, Thomas Vavasour, Mrs. Dorothy Vavasour, Margaret Webster, Frances Webster, Christopher Watson, Hercules Welborn, Alice Williamson.

In Various Prisons: Benedictines (11): James Brown, Richard Coppinger, Robert Edmonds, John Feckinham, Lawrence Mabbs, William Middleton, Placid Peto, Thomas Preston, Boniface Wilford, Thomas Rede, Sister Isabel Whitehead. Brigittine: Thomas Brownel (lay brother). Cistercians (2): John Almond, Thomas Mudde. Dominican: David Joseph Kemys. Franciscans: Thomas Ackridge, Paul Atkinson (the last of the confessors in chains, died in Hurst Castle, after thirty years' imprisonment, 15 Oct., 1729), Laurence Collier, Walter Coleman, Germane Holmes. Jesuits (12): Matthew Brazier (alias Grimes), Humphrey Browne, Thomas Foster, William Harcourt, John Hudd, Cuthbert Prescott, Ignatius Price, Charles Pritchard, Francis Simeon, Nicholas Tempest, John Thompson, Charles Thursley.Priests (4): William Baldwin, James Gerard, John Pearson, James Swarbick. Laymen (22): Thurstam Arrowsmith, Humphrey Beresford, William Bredstock, James Clayton, William Deeg, Ursula Foster, — Green, William Griffith, William Heath, Richard Hocknell, John Jessop, Richard Kitchin, William Knowles, Thomas Lynch, William Maxfield, — Morecock, Alice Paulin, Edmund Rookwood, Richard Spencer, — Tremaine, Edmund Vyse, Jane Vyse.


Since the process of the Prætermissi has been held, strong reasons have been shown for including on our list of sufferers, whose causes ought to be considered, the eleven bishops whom Queen Elizabeth deprived and left to die in prison, as Bonner, or under some form of confinement. Their names are: Cuthbert Turnstall, b. Durham, died 18 Nov. 1559; Ralph Bayle b. Lichfield, d. 18 Nov., 1559; Owen Oglethorpe, b. Carlisle, d. 31 Dec., 1559; John White, b. Winchester, d. 12 Jan., 1560; Richard Pate, b. Worcester, d. 23 Nov., 1565; David Poole, b. Peterborough, d. May, 1568; Edward Bonner, b. London, d. 5 Sept., 1569; Gilbert Bourne, b. Bath and Wells, d. 10 Sept., 1569; Thomas Thurlby, b. Ely, d. 26 Aug., 1570; James Thurberville, b. Exeter, d. 1 Nov., 1570; Nicholas Heath, Archbishop of York, d. Dec. 1578.

Lives of the English Martyrs, ed. Camm (2 vols., London, 1904), covering the lives of the Beati; the other lives are now in course of preparation; Challoner, Missionary Priests (London, 1878); Gillow, Bio. Dict. Eng. Cath.; Pollen, Acts of English Martyrs (London, 1891); Id., English Martyrs, (1594-1603), in Cath. Rec. Soc., Vol. V. (1908); Stanton, Menology for England (London, 1892); Dodd, Church History (London, 1839-43); Phillips, Extinction of the Ancient Hierarchy (London, 1906).

J. H. Pollen.

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