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December 18, 2014

The Martyrs of Douai

Douai

A group of 160 priests trained at the English College of Douai, in France. They were martyred in England and Wales during the century following the foundation of the famed college by Cardinal William Allen in 1568. All perished at the hands of English authorities while laboring to reconvert the island. Eighty alumni of Douai were beatified in 1929.

The English College at Douai was established by William Allen, later Cardinal, on Michaelmas Day, 29th September, 1568. It offered an opportunity to form clergy for England in accordance with the system laid down by the Council of Trent.

Originally it was intended as a college home for exiles from England, a place where they could continue their studies in a way no longer possible for Catholics at the English Universities. In time Allen recognised its potential as a place for training clergy ready for the return to England when ‘the new religion’ had run its course. The new priests, however, proved unwilling to wait for that event and quickly Douai College found itself dedicated very largely to the training of missionary priests.

Between 1577, the date of the martyrdom of St Cuthbert Mayne, the college’s protomartyr, and 1680, the date of the execution of Thomas Thwing, the college’s last martyr, one hundred and fifty eight college members, priests and layman, secular and religious, met with a martyr’s death.

The College was suppressed in 1793, and the collegians imprisoned for thirteen months at Doullens, Picardy. They were released in November 1794, returning to Douai for only a few months before obtaining permission to return to England. They found their first refuge at Old Hall Green, Ware, and dedicated the new work of the college to St Edmund of Canterbury on his feast day, November 16th, 1794

Names of The Blessed Martyrs of Douai

1577
Cuthbert Mayne

1578
John Nelson, Thomas Sherwood

1581
Everard Hanse, Edmund Campion, Ralph Sherwin, Alexander Briant

1582
John Payne, Thomas Ford, John Shert, Robert Johnson, William Fylby, Luke Kirby, Laurence Richardson, Thomas Cottam, William Lacy, Richard Kirkman, James Hudson Thompson

1583
William Hart, Richard Thirkeld, John Slade, John Bodey

1584
George Haydock, James Fenn, Thomas Hemerford, John Nutter, John Munden

1585
Thomas Alfield, Hugh Taylor

1586
Edward Stranchan, Nicholas Woodfen, Richard Sergeant, William Thomson, Robert Anderton. William Marsden, Francis Ingolby, John Finglow, John Sandys, John Lowe, John Adams, Richard Dibdale

1587
Thomas Pilchard, Edmund Sykes, Robert Sutton, Stephen Rousham, John Hambley, Alexander Crow

1588
Nicholas Garlick, Robert Ludlam, Richard Sympson, William Dean, William Gunter, Robert Morton, Hugh More, Thomas Holford, James Claxton, Thomas Felton, Robert Wilcox, Edward Campion, Christopher Buxton, Ralph Crocket, Edward James, John Robinson, William Hartley, John Hewett, Robert Leigh, William Way, Edward Burden

1589
John Amias, Robert Dalby, George Nichols, Richard Vaxley, Thomas Belson, William Spenser

1590
Christopher Bales, Miles Gerard, Francis Dickinson, Edward Jones, Anthony Middleton, Edmund Duke, Richard Hill, John Hogg, Richard Holiday

1591
Robert Thorpe, Momford Scott, George Beesley, Roger Dickinson, Edmund Genings, Eustace White, Polydore Plasden

1592
William Patenson, Thomas Pormont

1593
Edward Waterson, James Bird, Anthony Page, Joseph Lampton, William Davies

1594
William Harrington, John Cornelius, John Boste, John Ingram, Edward Osbaldeston

1595
Robert Southwell, Alexander Rawlins, Henry Walpole, William Freeman

1597
William Andleby

1598
Peter Snow, Christopher Robinson, Richard Horner

1599
Matthias Harrison

1600
Christopher Wharton, Thomas Sprott, Robert Nutter, Edward Thwing, Thomas Palasor

1601
John Pibush, Mark Barkworth, Roger Filcock, Thurston Hunt

1602
James Harrison, Thomas Tichborne, Robert Watkinson, Francis Page

1603
William Richardson

1604
John Sugar

1607
Robert Drury

1608
Matthew Flathers, George Gervase

1610
Roger Cadwallador, George Napier, Thomas Somers

1612
Richard Newport, John Almond

1616
Thomas Atkinson, John Thulis, Thomas Maxfield, Thomas Tunstal

1618
William Southerne

1628
Edmund Arrowsmith

1641
William Ward, Ambrose Edward Barlow

1642
Thomas Reynolds, Alban Roe, John Lockwood, Edmund Catherick, Edward Morgan, Hugh Green

1643
Henry Heath

1644
John Duckett

1645
Henry Morse, John Goodman

1646
Edward Bamber

1654
John Southworth

1679
Nicholas Postgate, John Wall, John Kemble

1680
Thomas Thwing

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