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one of the Pope's alumni, and he seems to have been admitted to
holy orders about December 9th, 161 2, and before the end of the
year was advanced to the greater orders at Arras. On June 17th,
1613, he was sent to England to join the mission, by Dr. Kellison,
lately appointed president of the college. He was first arrested about
August, 1622. His last apprehension was about June or July, 1628.
The charge against him was " that he was a priest and believed in
the Papal supremacy." His judges, Sir Henry Yelverton and Sir
James Whitlock must have been ripe for eternal perdition, if all
that is recorded of them be correct. The judge Yelverton declined
to allow him a fair trial, and in sentencing him, informed him


"that he should die and see his bowels burn before his face,"
to which Edmund Arrowsmith answered "and you, my lord, must
die too," a rejoinder which greatly enraged the man ; the judge next
commanded the martyr to explain himself, which he did most care-
fully, reverently and ably. One of his chief enemies appears
to have been a Justice of the Peace, known as Captain Rawstorne,
and he it was who had the good priest arrested. On pages
71, 72 and 73, of "Memoirs of Missionary Priests," much
information is given concerning the trial. After he was sentenced
by the infuriated judge Velverton, he was manacled with heavy
irons, and while on his way to his dungeon he recited the Miserere
in so audible a voice that many heard him. So dark was the cell
or hole in which he was confined that he could see nothing, and so
small was it that he could not properly lie down, but was compelled
to sit, leaning on a bolster which was flung to him ; and so he con-
tinued in his clothes, with heavy bolts on his legs from about one
or two-o'clock on the Tuesday until twelve on Thursday, when he
was led to his doom. No man was suffered to speak to him under
a penalty of ^100, and the Judge further commanded that after
sentence, he should be watched by three or four of the sheriffs men.
After the poor Priest was disembowelled it was averred that there
was nothing found in his intestines, which were distended with
wind, and also that there was not one drop of liquid in his bladder.
He appears to have been indicted under the name of Rigby, but
how this occurred I cannot ascertain. On his way to execution he
beheld his friend and fellow prisoner Mr. Southworth, who showed
himself out of a great window, they affectionately saluted each other,
and about the same period a catholic gentleman embraced the
martvr tenderly, and kissed him as he came forth from the Castle
Gateway. The good man was bound upon a hurdle, placed on a
horse, with head towards the animal's tail "for greater ignominy."
He was dragged through the streets to the gallows, a quarter of a
mile awav from the prison, no friend being able to get near him,
owinsf to the sheriff's halberds and servants. The executioner went
close in front of the martyr bearing a club, as if in "barbarous
triumph," says the author quoted; while the martyr "held two


papers between his hands which were called duae claves cadi, the
one containing an act of the love of God, and the other of contrition,
which he used for the increase of his devotion." Even the Pro-
testant minister, a limping- old man, is said to have pointed to the
huge fire and said " Look you, Mr. Rigby, what is provided for
your death, will you conform yourself yet, and enjoy the mercy of
the King?" to which the martyr replied, "Good sir, tempt me no
more ; the mercy I look for is in heaven through the death and passion
of my Saviour Jesus, and 1 most humbly beseech him to make me
worthy of this death." He was then dragged to the foot of the
ladder, and the old parson, evidently the chaplain, taunted him
anew. After being urged to conform by Mr. Lee or Leigh, J. P.,
this good soul firmly refused, was directly cast off the ladder and
permitted to hang until dead. The last words which were heard
emanating from his lips were Bone Jesu. " His head was set upon
a stake or pole amongst the pinnacles of the Castle, and his quai ters
were hanged on four several places thereof." People of all beliefs
wished they had never witnessed such an execution, and denounced
the barbarity that would destroy men because of their religious
principles. This dreadful cold-blooded murder took place at noon
on the 28th of August, 1628. A Latin MS. of Father Arrowsmith's
life is still preserved in the Douay College, dated 1629. A life of
the martyr, published in 1737, adds "that the judge who con-
demned the priest sitting at supper on the 23rd January, 1729-30,
felt a blow as if some one had struck him on the head and fell into
rage with his servant about it, the servant protesting that he had
never struck at him at all, nor seen any one strike him. A little
after he experienced another similar blow, and in great terror was
carried to bed and died the next morning."

The Nonconformist historian of the count}-, Dr. Halley, an
excellent broad-hearted man describes him as a "meek and godly
priest, whose holy life and labours are well worthy of comparison
with the lives of Oliver Hey wood and Isaac Ambrose, and whose
death for his religion may be compared with the martyrdom of John
Bradford or of George Marsh." It is said that "between two of


the battlements of the Castle there still remains the base of a spike
which is reputed to be the one on which this order was fulfilled."
It is likewise stated that " the hand of Arrowsmith, after being cut
off by a friend, was conveyed to Bryn Hall, one of the seats of the
Gerards, of which family his mother was a member, and became
widely known and venerated as 'the dead man's hand,' or the 'holy
hand.' The relic was removed from Bryn to Garswood — another
residence of the Gerards, and subsequently to the priest's house at
Ashton-in-Makerfield, and many instances are related of cures said
to have been effected by its efficacy. It was the custom for
applicants to provide themselves with a piece of flannel or calico,
which the priest placed in contact with 'the dead hand,' and the
cloth was then applied to the parts affected." The hand of Edmund
Arrowsmith is still preserved, and many miracles are said to have
been performed with it, the custom being- to rub a cloth over it
and then to rub that part of the body of the sick person which is
most disordered with such cloth.

Richard Herst, a lay Catholic, was put to death the day after

Eather Arrowsmith at the same place. Herst was seized in a field

while busy ploughing as a recusant convict, and was most roughly

handled by the pursuivant and two of his assistants. Christopher

Norcross, the Bishop oi' Chester's messenger, had obtained the

services of one Wilkinson and one Oewhurst, the latter of whom

was so vile a character that the officer of the parish had a warrant

in his hands at the time for his removal to the House of Correction

as a punishment for his lewdness. The wretch got a blow on the

head administered by Mr. Herst's servant-maid, and as he was

running to Wilkinson's aid he fell down and broke his leg, and his

body being in an unhealthy condition, the leg took bad ways, and

the man died in about thirteen days after the event, regretting that

he had ever attended in such a sinful work. On his pathway of

death Mr. Herst met the Rev. Geoffrey King, vicar of Lancaster.

Mr. King questioned him about his faith, and the martyr answered

him " I believe according to the faith of the Holy Catholic Church."

The vicar demanded further of him how he hoped to be saved.


"Not by your religion, Mr. King-," was his reply. On asking the
question, "Whether he meant to be saved by the merits of Jesus
Christ?" Mr. Herst answered " Will you be accounted a divine and
ask me such a question ?" Richard Herst was tried and condemned
at the Lancaster Assizes, March, 1618, the judges being Sir Edward
Bromley and Sir John Denham, and on the day of his execution,
the day after Eather Arrowsmith had suffered, he exclaimed at the
first sight of the gallows : — " Gallows, thou dost not affright me,"
and upon reaching it he kissed one of the posts. The executioner
was rather clumsy at fastening the rope to the beam, and Herst,
looking up at him, "merrily called him by his name, and said,
'Tom, I think I must come and help thee.'' Then ascending the
ladder after divers short speeches of devotion he was "turned off."
Bishop Challoner says " Under colour of wilful murder, but in truth
and in the sight of God for the profession of the Catholic faith was
he condemned."

Edward Barlow, known religiously as Eather Ambrose, was
one of the ancient family of Barlow, of Barlow Hall, Lancashire
He was born in 1585, of pious Catholic parents. His father was
Alexander Barlow, Esq. He was a very holy man in his life and
preaching, and always abstained from wine, remarking when once
asked his reason for so doing, " Wine and women make the wise
apostatise." He was apprehended on Easter Day, 1641, by a
neighbouring minister, who thought fit to forego his own services
and attended by four hundred members oi' his congregation, armed
with clubs and swords, set off and surrounded Mr. Barlow's house
where mass had just been finished and while the priest was
delivering an exhortation to his hearers, numbering about one
hundred, he was seized taken by the Protestant parson and his
congregation, who had not been provided with any warrant so to
act, before a Justice of the Peace, who sent him guarded by sixty
armed men to Lancaster Castle. Some of his flock would have
attempted to rescue him, but he entreated them nut to think of such
a thing. He was so weak that another person besides himself had
to sit on the horse behind him in order to support him. He


remained in gaol from Easter until summer, when the assizes were
due. He was tried before Sir Robert Heath, on the 7th of
September, 1641, and he displayed equal constancy and fortitude,
for when drawn on a hurdle to the place of execution he walked
three times round the gallows carrying the cross before his breast
and recited the Miserere Psalm. Edward Barlow, otherwise Father
Ambrose, is said to have been "sometimes applied to, to exorcise
persons possessed by the devil, which he did with good success."
During his imprisonment he was quite resigned, and seemed to
know what his fate would be, for it appears that twelve years
before his death he had a vision of Father Arrowsmith, who,
coming to his bedside, said : — " I have already suffered ; you shall
also suffer. Speak but little for they will be upon the watch to
catch you in your words." Some ministers attempted to dispute
with him about religion, but he told them that it was "an unfair
and unseasonable challenge, and that he had something else to do
at present than to hearken to their fooleries. He suffered bravely,
and entered into peace in the 55th year of his age and the 25th of
his religious profession and the 24th of his priesthood and mission.

Edward Bamber, born at a place called The Moor, near
Poulton-le-Fylde, son of Mr. Richard Bamber, was another valiant
priest, who, in his last moments, showed what true Christianity is
capable of in either Catholic or Protestant. In his last hour he was
instrumental in saving the deathless element of a man named Croft,
who was taken to the place of execution along with him and several
others. Croft was condemned to death for felony, and "declared
his resolution of dying in the Catholic faith, and was publicly
absolved by Mr. Bamber in the sight and hearing of the crowd."
When Father Bamber mounted the steps of the ladder he threw a
handful of money to the people, saying, with a smiling countenance,
that " God loveth a cheerful giver." He was speaking to his fellow,
confessors "when the sheriff called out hastily to the executioner to
despatch him ; and so he was at that moment turned off the ladder,
and permitted to hang a very short time, when the rope was cut the
confessor being yet alive, and thus he was butchered." This



reminds us of the horrible martyrdom of John Rig-bye, tutor to Sir
Edward Huddleston's family, martyred at St. Thomas's Watering-,
London, 21st June, 1600, a member of the ancient house of
Harrock, near Parbold which house was the seat of the Rigbyes,
from about 1522, and the original fount whence sprang the Rigbyes
of Middleton in Goosnargh, Burgh, near Chorley, Layton in the
Eylde, and the Lancaster branch. This John Rigbye was executed
in his 30th year, and when only half hanged, as it were, was cut
down and disembowelled, his entrails being burnt before him, and
while this horrid work was in process he rose from the ground
raising his arms in the greatest physical agony yet unable to speak.
His holy life is alluded to by Dr. Worthington, and a full and
touching account of his suffering-s appears on page 199 of Bishop
Challoner's Memoirs, Part I. Edward Bamber, (known in the
mission as Reding), suffered at Lancaster, on the 7th of August,
1646. In the supplement, p. 252, of the work of the biographer it
is said that when Bamber was on his way to Lancaster Castle while
being lodged at a place beyond Preston, he escaped in the dead of
the night (his keepers being in drink), out of a window, in his shirt.
He was met by the master of Broughton Tower, admonished that
night in a dream that he should find Bamber in such a field. He
got up fully possessed with the truth of the vision and met the poor
priest in the very field he had dreamed of, and conducted him to his
house, where he took proper care of him. But Bamber was re-
arrested, and safely conveyed to Lancaster Castle. " It is true,"
writes an old Lancashire priest, " he found an opportunity here also
to make his escape, but to little purpose ; for having travelled all
the night, to his great surprise, he found like Thulis and Wrenno,
when morning had dawned that he was very near the town, and so
he concluded that it was God's will that he should suffer there, and
then surrendered himself to those that sought after him."

John Woodcock known as Father Martin, was born in Clayton
near Preston, in 1603. His father was a Protestant and his mother
a Catholic. He was kept a prisoner for two years after being
apprehended. His trial began in the early part of August, 1646, and


his fellow-prisoners were Mr. Reding and Mr. Whitaker. Mr.
Woodcock confessed himself a priest and a Friar of the Order of St.
Francis. He was sentenced to death in the 44th year of his age.
Some say that when he was turned off the rope broke. He was
ordered up the ladder a second time, being perfectly sensible and
scarcely half-hanged, then barbarously cut down and butchered alive.

"Thomas Whitaker, of Burnley, was," says Bishop Chal-
loner, "probably a member of either the family of Whitaker, of
Holme, near Burnley, or of Whitaker, of Healy, by the same town,
but of a branch that adhered to the Roman Catholic faith. He
was born in the year 1614, and was the son of Thomas and Helen
Whitaker. His father was the master of a noted free school, viz.,
Burnley Grammar School, and his son Thomas was taught in that
school, after which he was sent to complete his studies to the
English college in Valladolid, at the expense of the Townley family.
He was there ordained priest, and began his mission in England in
1638. He was watched by the authorities in Lancashire, and on
his first arrest he escaped from his guard while on the road to
Lancaster. The guard having locked him in a chamber at night
proceeded to carouse below, which the prisoner hearing contrived
to let himself down out of the window of his room ; but forgot first
to throw out his clothes, and so after his escape was forced to walk
some miles in an almost naked condition, until he fortunately fell
in with a friendly Catholic who found him a place of hiding and
apparel and enabled him to make good his escape. He was seized
a second time in the year 1643 at Mr. Midgeall's, of Place Hall, in
Goosnargh, and then he was effectually conducted to Lancaster,
and committed to the county gaol in the Castle on August 7th. It
is written that " he was apprehended by a gang of priest-catchers,
armed with clubs and swords, who beat and abused him until he
confessed that he was a priest." He was treated with great
severity in prison, and placed in a " nasty dungeon " for six weeks.
An old priest and fellow prisoner describes Whitaker as a man of
most saintly life, who in prison was continuallv at praver, or
employed in charitable offices about his fellow captives. He


remained in gaol three years before his trial was ordered. At the
assizes at which he was tried, his hearing before the judges was
quickly over, for having owned himself a priest to the pursuivants
and soldiers, who with threats of death extorted this confession
from him, and these appearing witnesses against him he could not
and would not deny the truth ; and so committing his cause to God
and his condition to the favour and compassion of the court, he
with a meek deportment waited in silence the verdict of the jury.
He was brought in guilty with two other priests and sentenced to
death. On the 7th of August Mr. Whitaker was drawn to the
place of execution with the other two, and was the last to suffer.
We are told that he was naturally of a faint-hearted and fearful
disposition, and it would seem that his murderers sought to take
advantage of this by leaving him until the last. He "shewed
evident marks of the dread and anguish that assaulted his soul,"
and his companions exhorted him and encouraged him. He was
offered his life if he would conform, but despite his natural terrors
he remained constant, and when it came to the upshot he told the
sheriff his resolution was fixed to die in the profession of the
Catholic faith. " Use your pleasure with me," said he. " A
reprieve or even a pardon upon your conditions I utterly refuse."
When he was upon the ladder he prayed devoutly and earnestlv,
and when the rope was about his neck he prayed for his enemies.
Then resuming his former ejaculatory prayers, while he was calling
for mercy and recommending his departing soul into the hands of
his Saviour Jesus Christ, he was suddenly flung off the ladder and
executed. He was in his 33rd year.

In the beautiful little cemetery at Claughton-on-Brock is a
life-size statute of the venerable martyr,* the first priest doing duty
in Claughton and district after the reformation. The figure is

*In a line with this photograph in stone of a Saintly missioner is the statue
of St. Kentigern, the only canonized saint recorded as having preached in Lancashire.
On the tablets of the pedestal are these inscriptions: — "St. Kentigern, fust Bishop
of Glasgow, 518,603. Founder of the Monastery and See of St. Asaph, in the vale
of Clwyd, passed through Claughton. Apostle of Strathclyde, friend of St. David
and St. Colombia. The one canonized saint recorded to have preached in Lancashire."


taken from a portrait of the martyr preserved in the English
College of Valladolid, and it was unveiled on the 3rd September,
1882. Among many interesting relics in the possession of Mon-
signor Gradwell (Claughton) is the sacramental box used by Mr.

On the 16th of September, 1604, Lawrence Bailey, or Baily,
was apprehended for aiding and assisting a priest who had fallen
into the hands of the pursuivants and had made his escape from
them. Molanus states, says Bishop Challoner, (p. 77) that he
suffered with great constancy, at Lancaster. Dr. Worthington gives
the date of his death as 16th August and not September. Thurstan
Hunt, of Carleton Hall, Leeds, and Robert Middleton, gentleman,
were executed in March, 1601. In 1583 James Layborne, a Catholic
gentleman, was executed at Lancaster for declaring that the Queen
(Elizabeth) was not his lawful sovereign, that she was unlawfully
begotten and lawfully deposed from her pretended right to the
crown by Pope Pius Quintus.

Two Lancashire men suffered in the time of Charles II., the
one Father Wall, at Worcester, born in 1620 (Father Joachim, of
St. Ann), and the other William Pleasington, of Pleasington, born
at Dimples, near Garstang. He was a younger son of Robert
Pleasington, or Plessington, governor of Greenow Castle. Mr.
Pleasington, after nine weeks imprisonment, was executed on the
19th of July, 1679, at West Chester, and Father Wall at Worcester
on the 22nd of August, 1679. John Wall was condemned under the
name of Marsh or Marshall. His head is kept in the cloister of the
English friars at Douav. He suffered on the octave of the
Assumption of the B.V.M.

Bishop Challoner's "Memoirs" I have always considered
extremely well arranged, and of the authenticity of them there need
be little doubt. It transpires that the author excludes James
Laybourne from the biographical sketches owing to " his case being
different from that of all other Catholics " who suffered in the times


included in the work. The denial of Elizabeth's right of succession
is the reason for his exclusion. The "Memoirs" furnish particulars
of 124 priests and 63 laymen and women, total 187. He commences
with Cuthbert Maine and ends with Dr. Oliver Plunkett, and
supplies an appendix and supplement ; periods 1577 to 1603, 1603-
168 1. In 1577 Elizabeth would be 44. Persecutions occurred
during" the reigns of James I., Charles I., and Charles II.

Among' those tried and condemned at Lancaster but who
escaped death, outliving the perilous times, were Richard Fletcher
or Barton and John Penketh. One Richard Birket died in gaol in
1679 or 1680. Readers familiar with this sort of history will
remember the institution of the Captain Cobler body under Dr
Mackerel, who, disguised as a shoemaker, and hence dubbed with
the military nickname mentioned, sought to revive the Catholic
religion 'and to set up again the suppressed monasteries. This
Lincolnshire movement was vigorously imitated by a Mr. Robert
Aske, a gentleman living at Aughton, in the East Riding of York-
shire. Under this latter gentleman 40,000 men assembled in the
northern part of the Kingdom and determined to carry out the plan
of the Lincolnshire doctor. These men, or at any rate their leaders
were called the Pilgrims of Grace, and among them were John
Paslew, Abbot of Whalley, and William Trafford, Abbot of Sawley.
The first of these luckless wights was, according to Thoresbv's
" History of Leeds," one of the Paslews of Riddlesden Hall,
Keighley. In this work, a pedigree of the family from the third
year of Henry VI. appears, and in the Church at Keighley their arms
were to be seen at the east end of the north aisle, " being both in
the main and in the stone in divers places." The arms were argent,
a fess between three mullets, azure, pierced of the field. The last
of the Paslews of Riddlesden was " Walter Paslew who appears
first to have married Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Clapham, and
afterwards Ellen, daughter of John Lacey, Esq., left a son Francis,
baptized at Keighley, 1568, who died without issue about the first
of James I., leaving two sisters, Rosamond, who married John
Rishworth, Esq., and — — , who married Mr. Henry Miller.


John Rishworth, who succeeded his brother-in-law at Riddlesden,
and who appears to have sold the estate to the Murgatroyds, was
buried at Keighley, in 1655. The Murgatroyds had come into
possession of this place previous to the year 1640, as is shewn by a
stone over the door of an outbuilding, bearing the above date, with
the initials J.M.M., S.S.M. John Paslew, with William Trafford,
second son of Sir John Trafford, of Trafford, were arraigned on a
charge of high treason at Lancaster Assizes, in the spring of 1537.
Paslew was sentenced to death, sent to his own parish, and hanged
on the 12th of March, on a gallows erected in a field called the
Holehouses, " immediately in front of the house in which he was
born," says Speed whom Baines and others quote. The Abbot of
Sawley was executed two days before his friend Paslew, at Lan-
caster with numbers of men, sufferers in the same cause.

Whitaker's "History of Whalley " vol. I, page 114, repro-
duces a short note in Latin found in the Cottonian MSS,, which
contains a remarkable statement of the appearance of the ghost of

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