« AnteriorContinua »
EDMUND CATHERICK, PRIEST.*
He was descended from the Cathericks of Carlton, an ancient family in the north riding of Yorkshire, not far from Richmond. He performed his studies in the English college of Douay, and being there made priest, was sent upon the English mission, about the year 1635, being then thirty years old. He stands with a fair character, in the college diary, and is particularly commended for his extraordinary meekness, and for his zeal and labours in the mission. “R. D. Lockwood, eadem hora secutus est R. D. Edmundus Catherick, alias Huddlestone, Eboracensis, in passione socius, eo quod Sacerdos esset. Vir mitissimus, & hujus colegii alumnus, annos habens 37, quorum 7 in vinea Anglicana operarius strenuus impenderat. Diar. MSS. R. D. Ireland, ad annum 1642. "
After seven years labouring in the vineyard of his Lord, he was apprehended on the road, not far from Watlass, and was carried by the pursuivants before justice Dodsworth, who had married a near kinswoman of Mr. Catherick ; to whom, it seems, the good man some time before, (having been invited as a kinsman to his house,) had in private, candidly owned that he was a priest; so that Mr. Catherick being now brought before him, the justice, without more ado, committed him to York castle, and afterwards appeared as evidence against him, making oath that the prisoner had owned himself a priest in his hearing. And it is the opinion of the people of that neighbourhood, even to this day, says Mr. Knaresborough, in his manuscript collections, that Mr. Dodsworth and his family, for some years after, felt the guilt of Mr. Catherick's blood very heavy upon them, in a long series of surprising and dire disasters.
He was condemned merely for being a priest. His behaviour at the place of execution, was very religious and devout. He employed the whole time in prayer, while Mr. Lockwood was upon the ladder, and by his looks and reverend posture, plainly showed, that his applications to God were full of affection and fervour. When Mr. Lockwood was turned off, Mr. Catherick was ordered up the ladder, and he cheerfully obeyed ; his former fears were now quite dissipated, and a great calm and tranquillity had succeeded in his soul. When he was upon the ladder, he again betook himself to prayer, earnestly desiring all catholics there present, to pray with him, and for him. He spoke little, saying, there was no need of it, for that his trial being lately past, whereat many of the company were present, they could all bear him witness, that he was tried and condemned for his priesthood : and that for this only, and for no other treason, he was brought thither to suffer death. He prayed for the king, his royal consort, and their issue, that God in his mercy would shower down his blessings upon them, and send a right understanding betwixt his majesty and his parliament. Then he prayed for his persecutors, especially the person who was chiefly concerned in his death ; that God would bring him to a sense of his crime, and a speedy repentance : adding, that for his own part, he freely forgave him,
* From Mr. Knaresborough’s Collections.
as heartily as he expected and hoped for mercy and pardon of his own manifold sins at the hands of God.'
And now recollecting himself again for a few minutes, with eyes and hands lilied up to heaven, he said, Lord, I obey ; be near me, O Lord ! my soul hath trusted in thee; let me not be confounded forever. Then pulling a cap over his eyes, he delivered himself to the executioner, who, soon afier, turned him off the ladder, and he calmly expired. April 13, 16:12. His head was placed upon Micklegate bar. His bowels, or rather fragments of them, were buried on Toft green.
MR. WILKS, ALIAS, TOMSON, PRIEST, CONFESSOR.
A little while after the execution of Mr. Lockwood and Mr. Catheriek, another priest of the secular clergy, died in York castle, under sentence of death. His name was Wilks, though he was commonly known by the name of Tomson. He was born at Knaresborough, in Yorkshire, was taken at Malton, upon a market-day, and set in the stocks to be gazed at by the people, almost the whole day, till a cutler of the town making vath, that he knew him to be lord Ever's priest, he was sent to York castle, tried, and convicted ; but died before exe. cution,
EDWARD MORGAN, ALIAS, SINGLETON, PRIEST.* EDWARD VORGAN was born in Flintshire, of North-Wales, and was educated in the English college of Douay ;t from hence, he was sent into Spain, (as appears, by the account he gare of himself to the people at the place of execution, and there made priest at Salamanca. From Spain, he went to Rome ; and from Rome, he came upon the English mission. In England, after some time, he was apprehended, and committed to the Fleet prison, where he remained contined for fourteen or fifteen vears; suffering much from the loathsomeness of the place, and the want of all necessaries ; more particularly, during the two last years, with this additional agoraration to his sufferings, that some were pleased to give it out that he was mad; which slander, he willingly forgare, amongst many other injuries, which he had to sutier from the malice of his adversaries.
At length, he was brought upon his trial, in this parliamentary persecution ; and was condemned, barely on account of his being a priest, ordained bevond the seas, and remaining in this kingdom contrary to the statute of Elizabeth the 27th. To other crime was so much as objected to him. The sentence of death was pronounced upon him in the usual form, as in cases of high treason, on the 234 of April, being the feast
* From the Douay diary. From a Latin manuscript, by an eve-witness of his death, sot uue fruun St. Omer's; and from Chitiet's Paims cieri dogteani. p. 35. printed at Antwerp 1645. w bo declares in his epistie dedicatory to the biscop of Antwerp, that he received all his informations either from eve-witnesses, or from such as were informed by eve-witnesses.
1 Hujus collegij alumnus. Mr Ireland's diary, April 1612.
of St. George the martyr, the patron of England; which sentence he received with remarkable cheerfulness, and even joy. Many protestants, as well as catholics, came to see him in prison after condemnation; and, whereas, the former proposed to him iheir queries, and their objections against the catholic religion, it was wonderful with what solidity, charity, and modesty he answered all their queries, and refuted all their objections ; so that on the one hand they found themselves quite overwhelmed with the weight of his arguments; and on the other, so taken with his charitable and modest way of treating religious controversies, that they could not help having a great respect for him, and a great compassion for his case: and it is affirmed that these conferences were of no small service to the souls of several of them.
As to the catholics, many of them made their confessions to him, and these, as well as the rest, thought themselves happy if they could carry off any thing that belonged to him, to keep as a relic; insomuch that they cut off his very buttons, and pieces of his cloak; till he was forced to give it up to be divided amongst them; and instead of it, they furnished him with a new one to carry with him to Tyburn. Many wept and lamented his case, whom he comforted with cheerful words, flowing from the abundance of a heart full of joy at the approaches of so great a happiness as that of dying for Christ; declaring to them withal, to the greater glory of God, that though by nature he was timorous, he had now no manner of apprehension of halters, knives, or fires, or whatever else he could suffer for so good a cause ; and that he should be even glad to have many lives, that he might lay them all down in the service of so good a master. However, he begged that all catholics would pray for him, that he might die like a true Roman catholic priest, that is, said he, with a constant humility, and an humble constancy ; that no fear may terrily me, neither any presumption puff me up, or transport me out of the bounds of a christian modesty in my words and carriage.
On the day after his condemnation he found means, (which he had not been able to do for a year before,) of celebrating, in prison, the tremendous mysteries, to prepare himself by that august sacrifice and sacrament for his death. And the divine majesty was pleased upon this occasion to visit his soul with such spiritual delights and heavenly consolations, that he was in a manner in an ecstacy, and found all the difficulty imaginable to proceed in the divine sacrifice; his devotion being particularly inflamed with the thought of the holy name of Jesus, from which he was obliged violenıly to divert his mind, crying out with blessed Xaverius, Satis est Domine. It is enough, O Lord ! or he could never have finished. The disposition which he found in his soul upon this occasion, he discovered in confidence to a priest of the Society of Jesus, who came to visit him that day, and the same, or another friend of his, found him the following evening in the like raptures of divine love and spiritual joys, though he had been wearied all the day with a continual crowd of people coming to visit and confer with him. The religious man, just now mentioned, asked the confessor of Christ, if there was any thing in which he could be any way serviceable to him? he answered, that he should be glad of the prayers of the society;
and that his prayers should not be wanting for them : but withal taking him aside, he told him, that in the extremity of want under which he had laboured, during the two last years of his imprisonment in the Fleet, he had been obliged to contract some debts to ihe value of about twenty-two pounds, which it would be a great comfort to him to see discharged before he died. The good father promised he would do his best to procure him that sum of money ; which he set about without loss of time; and by the contributions of pious catholics was enabled to carry him the whole sum the next day; for which, in return, the holy confessor promised his prayers for all his benefactors, and in particular for the Society of Jesus.
The night before he was to suffer, he spent in watching and prayer. The following day being Tuesday, the 26th of April, 1642, about eight o'clock in the morning, he was brought out of prison, and laid on a hurdle or sledge incommodiously enough, as well because his head was laid too low, as also because the rope which he had about his neck, was drawn so straight, that he could scarce take his breath: but this being perceived was remedied in Holborn; upon which occasion the sledge being obliged to stand, some one, very courteously, offered him a glass of wine to drink, which he did not refuse ; and withal he took that opportunity of informing the people of the cause for which he was going to die ; viz., barely for being a priest; whilst all the standers-by were in admiration at that cheerfulness and joy, which they discovered both in his words and looks. The multitude of the people that accompanied the sledge was very great, yet no one in that great number offered to affront or insult him, but rather all showed a compassion towards him. When they arrived at Tyburn, it was with the greatest difficulty imaginable, that the sheriff's men could make room for the sledge, so great was the concourse of coaches, horsemen, and footmen, there assembled, to be spectators of the last conflict of this soldier of Christ. Yet as soon as they saw him, no other voice was to be heard in the crowd but Silence, silence,' all being desirous to hear his last words; and a great part of them standing with their heads uncovered.
As soon as he was put up into the cart, he sent to the sheriff, who was at a distance by reason of the crowd, to ask leave to speak to the people, declaring that he had that regard to the authority of a lawful magistrate, that he would not speak without his permission. The sheriff used his best endeavours to draw nigher, but could not, and, therefore, by the means of others that were nearer, gave him the leave that he desired. But first, the servant of God, before he would speak, kneeled down in the cart, and there spent some time in silent prayer : then rising up, and disposing of his hat to a friend who was near, he waited a lille while till all were silent, his countenance being all the while wonderfully serene and cheerful. He began by signing himself with the sign of the cross, and took for his text out of the gospel of the foregoing Sunday, those words of our Saviour, The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep, St. John x. acknowledging at the same time himself infinitely unworthy of that title, which properly belongs to Jesus Christ, the true shepherd of our souls, who died for us all : but withal inferring from this text that we ought also, by Christ's example, and by the
consideration of his dying for us, to be willing to lay down our lives also for him; and affirming, that to die for being a priest of the catholic church, is to die for the church of Christ, and consequently dying for Christ. There is but one God, said he, one faith, one baptism, one true church, in which is found true hope of salvation, out of which there can be none; and for this true church of Christ I willingly die ; and I offer up my blood for the good of my country, and for the procuring a better understanding between the king and parliament.' Here he was interrupted by a minister, telling him to prepare himself for death, and not to stand seducing the people. The consessor replied, Sir, this is not a proper time for me to dispute with you ; I beg you would not be troublesome to me now; and so went resolutely on with his discourse. (though he was several times interrupled by the same minister,) proving the true church by its antiquity, universality, succession, &c., and demonstrating that the modern sects are all too new to have any claim to a succession from the apostles, or commission from Christ. His words seemed to make no small impression on the hearers, who were also astonished at his intrepidity, and that wonderful cheerfulness with which he met death.
He also gave the people on this occasion a short account of his birth, parentage, and education ; acknowledging himself to be a priest, and begging of God to forgive all who had slandered him, or been the cause of his manifold sufferings, as he besought his divine majesty to forgive his own innumerable sins. After he had finished his discourse, and the rope was now fastened in order to execution, he cheerfully said, he hoped he should now be sent to heaven in a string. A minister taking him up, said it was no time now to joke : Mr. Morgan replied, indeed this was no joking matter with me, but very serious; but why should any one be offended at my going to heaven cheerfully ? For God loves a cheerful giver. Then, after he had recommended his departing soul by prayer to God, the cart was drawn away, and he was suffered to hang till he was dead, and then he was cut down, bowelled, and quartered. He suffered in the fifty-seventh year of his age, April 26, 1642.
HUGH GREEN, ALIAS, FERDINAND BROOKS, PRIEST.*
Mr. Hugh GREEN, who was known upon the mission by the name of Ferdinand Brooks, or, as he is called in Mr. Ireland's diary, Ferdinand Brown, was born in London, about the year 1584, and after an academical education at Cambridge, became a convert, and went abroad to the English college at Douay, where he was admitted to the usual oath, and received alumnus, July 7, 1610. He was confirmed at Cambray, September 25, 1611, was advanced to the minor orders, and made sub-deacon at Arras, December 17, deacon, March 18, and priest, June 14, 1612. He sung his first mass on St. John Baptist's day, June 24,
* From the Douay diary, and a manuscript relation of his death, by an eye-witness.