Who are the Lincolnshire Martyrs?



The following Saints and Blesseds have officially been beatified, and in two cases canonised, as 
Martyrs of England and Wales

They did not take any part in the Lincolnshire Rising, which is often assumed.



b. 1560 (Louth) - d.1591 (Tyburn)

Hanged, beheaded, quartered & martyred at 

Tyburn, 1591. 

Canonised by Pope Paul VI, 1970
One of the 40 Martyrs of England & Wales

"Lord, more pain if Thou pleasest, and more patience".

"I am not angry with you for all this, but shall pray to God for your welfare and salvation".

"I thank God that it hath pleased Him to bless my labours with this happy end, when I am now to die for my Faith and priesthood".

"Christian people. I was yesterday condemned as a traitor, for being a priest and coming into this country to reconcile and use other my priestly functions; all which I confess I have done in saudry places of this realm for some years together. I thank God that it hath pleased Him to bless my labours with this happy end, when I am now to die for my Faith and priesthood".

"Sweet Jesu!"
"Sweet Jesu!"

...he cried over and over again, 
until the end.




Prior of Our Lady of Melwood, a Carthusian house at Epworth, on the Isle of Axholme, in north Lincolnshire, in 1531.

Hanged, beheaded and quartered at Tyburn on 4 May 1535.

Canonised by Pope Paul VI, 1970
One of the 40 Martyrs of England & Wales

The following statements by Prior Augustine are recorded in the Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, vol. 8. Therein, on four occasions of being interrogated, he refused to swear the Oath of Supremacy.

'Augustine Webster says that he cannot take the King, our sovereign lord, to be supreme head of the Church, by him that is by the doctors of the Church taken head of the Church, that is, the Bishop of Rome.' 

'[he] could not agree that the King is supreme head of the Church of England, according to the statute'. 

"The King our sovereign lord is not supreme head on Earth of the Church of England."

Augustine Webster ..... denies the supremacy


Blessed Mark Barkworth

Born c.1572 in Lincolnshire, England

Hanged, drawn, quartered & martyred on 27 February 1601 at Tyburn, London, England

"I am come here to die, being a Catholic, a priest, and a religious man, belonging to the Order of Saint Benedict; it was by this same order that England was converted"

Described as a tall, burly man, always cheerful, even in the sufferings of his later life. Studied at Oxford University. Convert to Catholicism, joining the Church at DouaiFrance in 1594. Studied at English CollegeRomeItaly starting on 16 December 1596, and then at the Royal College of Saint Alban in ValladolidSpain. While on the road to Spain he had a vision; Saint Benedict of Nursia appeared to him and told he would die a Benedictine and a martyr. Ordained in 1599 and a Benedictine Oblate. He returned to England with Saint Thomas Garnet to minister and to convert Catholics. He was arrested, spent several months in prison, and was finally condemned for the crime of being a priest. Martyred with Blessed Roger Filcock and Saint Anne Line, the first Benedictine to die after the suppression of their monasteries. Blessed Mark proclaimed the quote, in red, above to the crowd gathered to watch his execution


Blessed Thomas Plumbtree

"I have no desire so to continue living in the world, as mean time to die to God. Wherefore, having confessed my Faith, by God's grace I suffer death to this world, that I might merit to receive from Christ eternal life."

Chief Chaplain & Priest to the Northern Rising

This Youtube video gives some background information about The Northern Rebellion of 1569 and the Queen's savage punishment of 700 participants.
Born in the Diocese of Lincoln, a scholar of Corpus Christi CollegeOxford, in 1546, he was made Rector of Stubton in his native county. He resigned his benefice on the change of religion under Elizabeth, and became a schoolmaster at Lincoln, but was obliged to resign the post on account of his faith. 

It is as chief chaplain and priest of the army of the Northern Rising that he won the martyr's palm. His voice seems to have been like the Baptist's and to have stirred high and low alike. 

His call to abandon heresy and to rally to the standard of the faith ran through the northern counties, and hundreds came in response to his summons. He appears to have been celebrant of the Mass in Durham Cathedral immediately preceding F. Holmes' sermon and the public Absolution which followed. On his capture after the failure of the Rising, he was singled out as a notable example of the priests who had officiated. On the gibbet in the market-place at Durham.
He was offered his life if he would embrace heresy, but he refused, and dying to this world received eternal life from Christ. He stated the quote above, in red, to his accusers. The following is quoted in Memorials of the Rebellion of 1569, by Sir Cuthbert Sharp, London, 1810.

Among manye newes reported of late,
As touching the Rebelles their wicked estate,
Yet Syr Thomas Plomtrie, their preacher they saie,
Hath made the north countrie to crie well a daye,
Well a daye, well a daye, well a daye, woe is mee,
Syr Thomas Plomtrie is hanged on a tree.

He was martyred, for saying Mass, in 1572, was buried in the market-place, and beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1886.

Wherein I labour even unto bands, but the word of God is not bound.
2 TIM. ii. 9.


Blessed Thomas Woodhouse

"Would God I might suffer ten times as much as thou might go free for the blow thou hast given me. I forgive thee, and pray to God to forgive thee even as I would be forgiven."

Born 1535 in LincolnshireEngland

Hanged, drawn, quartered & martyred on 19 June 1573 at Smithfield, London, England

For an excellent article on Blessed Thomas Woodhouse click HERE!

Priest in LincolnshireEngland. Forced to resign due state persecution, he became a tutor in Wales. Arrested and sent to Fleet Prison on 14 May 1561 for the crime of celebrating Mass. He lay there for nine years before being tried and convicted for his faith. At some point during his incarceration he joined the Jesuits, and he ministered to fellow prisoners when possible.

On 19 November 1572 he convinced the prison washer-woman to take a letter to Lord Burghley. In it he begged that Burghley seek reconciliation with Rome, and convince Elizabeth to do the same. In it he begs him to seek reconciliation with the pope and earnestly to "persuade the Lady Elizabeth, who for her own great disobedience is most justly deposed, to submit herself unto her spiritual prince and father". He followed up this by writing more letters and papers, signing them, tying them to rocks, and throwing them from his window into the street in hopes that passers-by would spread his message. Once, when he had denied the queen's title, someone said, "If you saw her Majesty, you would not say so, for her Majesty is great". "But the Majesty of God is greater", he answered. He was soon transferred to Newgate prison, and a few weeks later. He was hanged, drawn, quartered, and martyred at Tyburn.


Blessed William Ireland

“I beg God Almighty to shower down a thousand blessings upon his Majesty……and all the royal family, and also on the whole kingdom. As for the Catholics that are here, we desire their prayers for a happy passage into a better world, and that God would be merciful to all Christian souls….. and so I beseech all good people to pray for us and with us.” 

Fr. William was the first Jesuit martyr of England. He was born in Lincolnshire and studied at St. OmerFrance, where he joined the Jesuits in 1655. He was professed in 1673 and was a confessor to nuns until he was sent to England, where he became known as William Ironmonger or Iremonger. William worked for the English mission until his arrest at the London Jesuit house and his subsequent execution at Tyburn for supposed complicity in the Popish Plot.

On Friday, January 24,1679, Fr Ireland and Mr Grove were taken to Tyburn, the place of execution. At the gallows, Fr Ireland professed both their innocence and denied any plot against the king’s life and proclaimed the quote in red, above. On completing these words, Fr Ireland and Mr Grove recollected themselves in prayer. The cart was drawn from under them and they remained hanging until they were dead. The bodies were then cut down and quartered. Fr Ireland was forty-three years old and had been a Jesuit for twenty-four years. He was the first Jesuit martyr of the infamous Titus Oates plot. He was beatified in 1929.


Blessed Hugh More

Blessed Hugh More was the son of Grantham landowner Richard More.

His father owned the Manors of Earl’s Fields, Walton & Houghton, and Spittlegate together with lands in Lincolnshire, Rutland, Staffordshire, Essex and London. He also became Grantham’s MP. Yet this wealthy young, Oxford-educated heir, living in Protestant Britain, chose to become a Roman Catholic at a time when it was illegal under Elizabeth I’s rule. He became a law student at Gray’s Inn and worked with fellow trainee Francis Bacon, destined to become Chancellor of England. More then trained for the priesthood in Douai and Rheims, France, but returned to England in 1583 to preach. He was arrested, tried for high treason, but made such a bold defence he was jailed in the Tower of London for a year before he was banished with 71 fellow priests. He took ill and with two others returned to England, which by now had made Catholicism punishable by death. They were captured, convicted and hanged within 24 hours. More was arrested, imprisoned at London’s Newgate and with a priest called Robert Morton, was hanged at Lincoln’s Inn Fields. It is unclear whether the 25-year-old was also drawn and quartered. Francis Bacon was a member of the tribunal that sentenced him.

Pope Pius XI beatified More in 1929.
His feast day is on August 28th


Blessed Thomas Dingley

Sir Thomas Dingley (executed 9 or 10 July 1539) was an English prior of the 

He is a Catholic martyr.

Sir Thomas was the son of John Dingley of Boston, Lincolnshire and his wife, Mabel, daughter of Edmund Weston. He was included in a bill of attainder passed under Henry VIII of England; another person on the same bill was Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury. He was accused, together with Robert Granceter, merchant, of "going to several foreign princes and persuading them to make war with the King". He had no trial, and no proof of treasonable practices was ever brought against him. He was found guilty of high treason 28 April 1539, and beheaded on Tower Hill, together with Sir Adrian Fortescue.

There is a discrepancy among the chroniclers as to the date of the execution. Stow gives 10 July, the Gray Friars' "Chronicle" and Wriothesley, 9 July.


Blessed Thomas Sprott &

Blessed Thomas Hunt

Both were arrested at the Saracen's Head, Lincoln, upon the discovery of the Holy oils and two Breviaries in their mails. When brought to trial, though their being priests was neither proved nor confessed, nor was any evidence produced, the judge, Sir John Glanville, directed the jury to find them guilty, which was done. 

Thomas Sprott & Thomas Hunt were among the eighty-five martyrs of England and Wales beatified by Pope John Paul II on 22 November 1987.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you I enjoyed reading about the Lincolnshire martyrs as I am from Lincolnshire never new there was so many but knowing about our holy father I am sure he as them busy and blessed them for there works