Imatges de pàgina



Poltdore Plasden, whom Mr. Stow calls Blaxton, was a native of London, and performed his studies abroad, partly in. the college of Douay, then residing at Rhemes, and partly in that of Rome. From whence he was sent priest upon the English mission. We have already seen, in the life of Mr. Genings, all that regards Mr. Plasden's apprehension, trial, and condemnation. He was sentenced to die, as in cases of high treason, for being a priest and returning into England to exercise his priestly functions here.

He was drawn to Tyburn, and there hanged, bowelled, and quartered December 10, 1592.

With Mr. White and Mr. Plasden, three others were executed for being aiding and assisting to priests, viz: Mr. Brian Lacy, gentleman, John Mason, and Sydney Hodgson. They all constantly chose to die for their religion, rather than to save their lives by occasional conformity.

Of all these executions, thus writes the protestant historian, Mr. Stow, in his chronicle, 1591. "The 10th of December, three seminary priests, for being in this realm contrary to the statute, and four others, for relieving them, were executed. Two of them, viz., a seminarist, named Ironmonger, and Swithin Wells, gentleman, in Gray's-innfield's, on the north side of Holborn; Blaxton and White, seminarists, and three others, their abettors, at Tyburn.'


William Patenson, or Patteson, was a native of the bishopric of Durham, an alumnus and priest of Douay college, during its residence at Rhemes. He was ordained in 1587, and sent upon the English mission in 1589. Falling into the hands of the persecutors, he was prosecuted and condemned to die, as in cases of high teason, merely upon account of his priestly character and functions. This holy man, the night before his execution, was put down into the condemned hole, with seven malefactors, who were all to suffer on the next day; and being more concerned for their eternal salvation, than his own temporal life, lie so movingly preached to them repentance for their sins, and a sincere conversion to God and his church, that six of the seven were reconciled by him; and, on the next morning, professed themselves determined to die in the catholic faith, as they did, with great marks of repentance for their past crimes, and a willingness to suffer that ignominious death in satisfaction for them. The persecutors were so en

* Prom the Douay Diary, and the bishop of Chalcedon's Catalogue, t From the Douay Catalogues, manuscript history of Dr. Champney, anil father Ritwilaneira, in his appendix, c. 10.

raged at this, that they treated Mr. Patenson, on this account, with more than ordinary cruelty, causing him to be cut down immediately, and butchered whilst he was alive, and in his perfect senses. He suffered at Tyburn, January 22, 1591-2.


Thomas Pormort, or Portmore, was born in Lincolnshire, of a gentleman's family. He performed his studies abroad, partly in the college of Rhemes, and partly in that of Rome, to which he was sent from Rhemes, in 1581. At Rome, he was made priest, and from thence he was sent upon the English mission. He fell into the hands of the persecutors, in August, 1591, and was committed to the Tower, where he was several times cruelly racked, to extort from him, by force of torments, the names of those who had harboured or relieved him. But his constancy was proof against all their torments, although, by the violence of them, his body was all disjointed, and his belly broken. So they proceeded to his trial, and condemned him to die, as in cases of high treason. The crimes for which he was sentenced to death, and afterwards executed, are thus set down by Mr. Stow, in his chronicle, 1591.

'The 8th of February, Thomas Pormort was convicted of two several high treasons; the one for being a seminary priest, and the other for reconciling John Barwys, haberdasher. John Barwys was also convicted of high treason, for being reconciled, and of felony, for relieving the said priest, contrary to the statute. Thomas Pormort was executed in Paul's church-yard, February 20.

This year, 1592, on the 23d of June, Robert Ashton, gentleman, born at Croston, in Lancashire, was executed at Tyburn, for procuring a dispensation from Rome, to marry his second cousin. Catalog. Chalced., ,$-c. And in the same month, Thomas Metham, one of the first missioners from Douay, afterwards a jesuit, died a prisoner for his faith, in Wisbich castle.

• From the Douay Diary and Catalogues, from Ribadaneira, chap. 7, and Dr. Chaninoey's manuscript.


Edward Waterson was born at London; and being come to man's estate, travelled, with certain merchants, into Turkey, to see those eastern regions. Here, a rich Turk taking a liking to him, offered his daughter in marriage, if he would renounce the Christian religion: but this condition, Mr. Waterson, though at that time no catholic, rejected with horror. Coming back from Turkey, he took Rome in his way homewards, and there, was instructed and reconciled to the catholic church by the means of Mr. Richard Smith, (afterwards bishop of Chalcedon,) then living in the English college, in that city. From Rome, he went to Rhemes, where the college was, at that time, which is now at Douay. Here he was admitted a student, and here he lived, for some years, a great pattern of humility, penance, and other virtues. He had a most ardent zeal for the salvation of souls; and, upon that account, though he was but indifferently learned, he was desirous to be made priest, and to be sent upon the English mission. He had his desire, and was ordained priest the Saturday after Mid-lent Sunday, 1592, and was sent into England, the Whitsuntide following: on which occasion, he declared to his companions, That if he might have the kingdom of France, to stay there till the next Midsummer, he would rather choose to go for England, as he did; such was his desire of being serviceable to the souls of his countrymen.

Mr. Waterson was but a short lime in England, before he was apprehended, tried, and condemned, for being made priest, by Roman authority, and coming into England, and remaining here. He received the sentence of death, with joy, and suffered with constancy. The Rev. archdeacon Trollop, relates, from the testimony of virtuous catholics, who were eye-witnesses, and related it to him, 'that whilst this blessed martyr was drawn upon the hurdle to his execution, upon a sudden, the hurdle stood still; and the officers, with all their whipping, and striving, could not make the horses to move it: and fresh horses passing by, they took them, and put them to the hurdle; yet they could not, (though they broke the tresses,) any way move him, or the hurdle; who, seeing their attempts to be frustrate, were forced to take the martyr from the hurdle, aud to lead him on foot, to the place of execution, saying, it would be a note to the papists, which had happened that day.'

Dr. Champney adds, that being, upon this occasion, taken off the hurdle, he walked cheerfully towards the gallows, not as to a punishment, but as to a crown. And, that coming to the place, and recommending himself by a short prayer to God, as he was offering to go up the ladder, it was violently agitated of itself, without any visible hand, till the confessor made the sign of the cress, and then, the ladder stood still; and he ascending, was shortly after turned off; and according to sentence, cut down, bowelled, and quartered. 1 find Dr. Champney

* From Dr. Champney's manuscript history, and from an MS. relation of his death, sent over to Douay by Mr. Cuthbert Trollop, archdeacon.

was Mr. Waterson's cotemporary at the college, and received clerical tonsure, with about forty others, on the same day as Mr. Waterson was made deacon, Frebruary 24, 1591.

Mr. Waterson suffered at Newcastle, upon Tyne, January 7, 1593.


James Bird was born at Winchester, of a gentleman's family. His parents brought him up in the protestant religion; which, upon a conviction of conscience, he afterwards forsook, and became a catholic; and, going abroad, was, for some time a student in Douay college, during its residence at Rhemes. At his return home, his zeal for his religion, caused him to be apprehended. The accusations laid to his charge, were, that he had been reconciled to the Roman church, and, that he maintained the pope to be, under Christ, the head of the church. When he was brought to the bar, he acknowledged the indictment; and thereupon received sentence of death, as in cases of high treason : yet, so that both life and liberty were offered him if he would but once go to the protestant church; but he chose rather to die, than to act against his conscience. And when his father solicited him to save his life by complying, he modestly answered, that as he had always been obedient to him, so would he willingly obey him in this also, if he could do it, without offending God. After a long imprisonment, he was hanged, drawn and quartered at Winchester. March 25, 1593.

He suffered with wonderful constancy and cheerfulness, being but nineteen years old. His head was set up on a pole, upon one of the gates of that city; which his father, one day passing by, and viewing the face of his son, thought that the head, bowing down, made him a reverence: upon which, he cried out, ah! my son Jemmy, who not only, living, wast ever obedient and dutiful, but now also, when dead, payest reverence to thy father ! how far from thy heart was all affection or will for treason, or any other wickedness!


Antony Page was born of a gentleman's family, at Harrow, on the Hill, in the county of Middlesex. He performed his studies abroad, in Douay college, then residing at Rhemes, where he was made priest in 1591, and sent upon the mission, January 3, 1591-2. Dr. Champney, who was his cotemporary at the college, tells us, that he was a man of wonderful meekness, of a virginal modesty and purity, and of a more

* From the bishop of Chalcedon's catalogue, and Dr. Champney's manuscript, t From the same catalogue and manuscript, and from the Douay diary.

than common learning and piety; who, for his singular candour of mind, and sweetness of behaviour, was dear to all. Falling into the hands of the adversaries of his faith, after suffering much in prison, and maintaining, by disputation, his religion, in some conferences with the ministers, he was condemned to die, as in cases of high treason, merely on account of his priestly character, and was drawn, hanged, and quartered at York, April 20, 1593.


He was born of a gentleman's family, at Malton,t in Yorkshire, and going abroad to the college then residing at Rhemes, there performed part of his studies, and being in his divinity, went from thence to Rome, to the English college of that city, in 1589. But he had not been here long, before his zeal for the salvation of the souls of his neighbours prompted him to desire to break off the course of his school divinity, and to return home to look after the lost sheep. So being made priest, he was sent upon the mission, where he was immediately apprehended, and committed to prison, and not long after brought to the bar, arraigned and condemned for being a priest, and coming into England to perform his priestly offices in this kingdom. For this, and no other treason, he had sentence to die the death of a traitor, which he suffered with great constancy and fortitude. He was cut down alive, and the hangman, (who was one of the felons, who, to save his own life was to perform that office,) having bugun the butchery, by dismembering the martyr, had so great a horror of what he was doing, that he absolutely refused to go on with the operation, though he was to die for the refusal, so that the sheriff was obliged to seek another executioner, whilst the martyr, with invincible patience and courage, supported a torment which cannot be thought of without horror, and which shocked even the most barbarous of the spectators; till, at length, a butcher from a neighbouring village was brought to the work, who, ripping him up, and bowelling him, set his holy soul at liberty, to take its happy flight to its sovereign and eternal good.

He suffered at Newcastle, July 27, 1593, in the flower of his age, (for he was not yet thirty,) and in the sight of his friends and relations.


Mr. Da Vies was born, according to Yepez's relation, in Caernarvon, according to the bishop of Chalcedon's catalogue, at Crois in Yris, in Denbigshire, of North Wales. He was, says the former, of one of the

* From the same catalogue and manuscript,
t Some say he was of the bishopric of Durham.

t From the Douay diary, and from the relation of one of his companions and fellow prisoners, recorded by bishop Yepez, in his history of the persecution, 1. 5, c. 8.

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