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Abell, Thomas (d. 1540), Roman Catholic priest and martyr, is of obscure origins. He was in priest's orders by May 1513. Nothing else is known about his early life beyond his studies at Oxford, where he determined as a BA in 1514, and proceeded MA in 1518. In 1522 he was admitted to the rectory of ...

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Alban [St Alban, Albanus] (d. c. 303?), Christian martyr in Roman Britain, was known from at least the tenth century as protomartyr Anglorum (sic); but the earliest reference to him is in 429 (the date is given by Prosper of Aquitaine...

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Alfield, Thomas (1552–1585), Roman Catholic priest and martyr, was born in Gloucester, the son of Robert Alfield (b. c.1514), who was a fellow of King's College, Cambridge, between 1535 and about 1539, and a master at Eton College and Gloucester School...

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Anlaby, William (c. 1552–1597), Roman Catholic priest and martyr, was a native of Etton in the East Riding of Yorkshire; he was the second son of John Anlaby of Etton and Dorothy, daughter of John Anne of Frickley, Yorkshire. He matriculated as a Dowman scholar at ...

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Askew [married name Kyme], Anne (c. 1521–1546), writer and protestant martyr, was probably born at her family home in Stallingborough, near Grimsby in Lincolnshire, the second daughter of Sir William Askew (1489–1541) and his first wife, Elizabeth Wrottesley. She had two brothers, ...

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Atkins, Richard (1559?–1581), protestant martyr, was the son of William Atkins and a native of Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire. In early summer 1581 he arrived in Rome. The anonymous Copie of a Double Letter (1582?), probably by the Jesuit Robert Persons from an eyewitness account, describes him as 'of no great yeres', a 'nailesmithe' by trade, short, with auburn hair, a reddish beard, and hardened hands, unlettered except that he could rudely write his name and read 'a litle new testament tourned out of Beza his latin' into English. The ...

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Bainham, James (d. 1532), lawyer and protestant martyr, was the youngest son of Sir Alexander Bainham and Elizabeth Langley, née Tracy, of Westbury-on-Severn in Gloucestershire, and nephew through his mother of Sir William Tracy, the evangelical landowner from Toddington in Gloucestershire whose will was refused probate in 1531 because of its heretical content. The source of his early education is unknown, but he probably attended a grammar school for he knew both Latin and Greek; later he was admitted to the inns of court and became a lawyer. However, he did not confine his energies to the law; he also espoused the evangelical faith articulated so eloquently in his uncle's will. ...

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Barkworth [alias Lambert], Mark (bap. 1570, d. 1601), Benedictine monk and martyr, was baptized at Searby, Lincolnshire, in April 1570. Nothing is known of his parents. Searby church records seem to indicate that his brother George was baptized in March 1576. When he was young a woman gifted with prophecy told ...

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Bayfield [alias Somersam], Richard (d. 1531), Benedictine monk and protestant martyr, was born at Hadleigh in Suffolk of unknown parentage. His alias, presumably a locative surname, suggests that his family originated at Somersham, a few miles north-east of Hadleigh. He was professed at ...

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Beesley, George (1562–1591), Roman Catholic priest and martyr, was born at The Hill in Goosnargh, Lancashire. He was the son of George and Ellen Beesley, and the brother of Richard, who also became a seminary priest. His family was from the gentry and noted for its recusancy. He trained as a priest at the ...

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Belchiam, Thomas (1505/6–1534?), Observant Franciscan friar and Catholic martyr, is recorded only in the Franciscan martyrology of Thomas Bourchier, first published at Paris in 1582, and in works derived from it. The context for the events Bourchier relates is entirely plausible. Belchiam was an Observant friar at ...

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Bell, James (1523/4–1584), Roman Catholic priest and martyr, was born at Warrington in Lancashire. He was educated at Oxford, and ordained priest in the reign of Queen Mary. At the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's reign he initially refused to conform to the new religion, but soon took a different course and officiated for twenty years as a ...

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Belson, Thomas (bap. 1563, d. 1589), Roman Catholic martyr, was baptized on 14 December 1563 in the parish church of Aston Rowant, Oxfordshire, the third son and sixth and youngest child of Augustine Belson (d. in or before 1601), landowner, and Margaret Scarneinge (...

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Bilney, Thomas (c. 1495–1531), evangelical reformer and martyr, known as Little Bilney on account of his short stature, was born in Norfolk, most likely at Norwich. Of his parents nothing is known, except that they survived him. Sent up to Cambridge at an early age (...

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Bland, John (d. 1555), protestant martyr, was born at Sedbergh, Yorkshire, and was educated by Roger Lupton, the provost of Eton College, before becoming a fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, where he took the degree of MA in 1536. According to John Foxe...

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Boniface [St Boniface] (672x5?–754), archbishop of Mainz, missionary, and martyr, is unusually well documented for a man of the early eighth century. One life was written about him by Willibald in Mainz before 769, and other lives followed in the course of the eighth and ninth centuries. He was also the major figure in the lives of numerous of his followers, notably in those of ...

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Boste, John [St John Boste] (1544–1594), Roman Catholic priest and martyr, was born at Wellyng Manor, Dufton, Westmorland, the younger of two sons of Nicholas Boste, of Wellyng Manor, and his wife, Janet Hutton, of Hutton Hall in Penrith. Boste went to Queen's College, Oxford...

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Sidney Lee

revised by Sarah Elizabeth Wall

Bowes, Marmaduke (d. 1585), Roman Catholic martyr, is of unknown parentage. He was a substantial Yorkshire yeoman of Angram Grange, near Appleton, in Cleveland. He experienced great personal conflict on religious issues, but refused to declare himself a Catholic, although he sympathized strongly with the Catholic cause. According to the recollections of ...

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Bradford, John (c. 1510–1555), evangelical preacher and martyr, was a native of the parish of Manchester. His parents are said to have been of gentle birth, but little is known for certain of his family, except that he had at least three sisters. He attended ...

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Briant, Alexander [St Alexander Briant] (1556–1581), Roman Catholic priest and martyr, was born in Somerset or Dorset. He was admitted to Hart Hall, Oxford, in Lent term 1574 and proceeded to Balliol College, Oxford. His tutors included the future Jesuits Richard Holtby and ...