(AUFIELD, ALPHILDE, HAWFIELD, OFFELDUS; alias BADGER).
Priest, born at Gloucestershire; martyred at Tyburn, 6 July, 1585. He was educated at Eton and Cambridge (1568). He was afterwards converted and came to Douai College in 1576, but the troubles there compelled him to intermit his studies for four years, and he was eventually ordained and sent forth from Reims in 1581. Here he was associated with the celebrated mission of Blessed Edmund Campion and Father Persons, and he persuaded the latter to take as his servant his brother Robert Alfield, then recently converted, but who afterwards became a traitor of note. Thomas seems to have laboured chiefly in the north, where after a time he was arrested and sent to the Tower of London, 2 May, 1582. Here he at first made a "glorious" confession, and even endured torture; but being afterwards sent back to the north, he fell, and went to the Protestant Church. Upon regaining liberty he was deeply penitent for his fall, and returned to Dr. Allen at Reims to gather new resolution. Returning again to England he was induced by the famous seaman John Davis (about March, 1584) to make for him offers -- presumably insincere on Davis's part -- of services to Spain. In August of the same year Dr. Allen's celebrated "True and modest Defence" appeared in answer to Burghley's "Execution of Justice ". To circulate such books as Allen's was of the greatest service to the Faith. Alfield undertook the dangerous task with the help of a dyer by the name of Thomas Webley, and of one Crabbe. After some months he was again arrested, and again sent to the Tower, whence he was removed to Newgate and tried. Crabbe renounced the pope and thereby saved his life; the other two were hanged. A reprieve had, for some unknown reason, been granted for Alfield, but it arrived too late.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online