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Death: 1590


On September 23, 1589, three English seminarians, Richard Hill, John Hogg, and Richard Holiday, all natives of Yorkshire, were ordained to the priesthood together in Laon, France. In March of 1590, they embarked for England together with a fourth priest, (Blessed) Edmund Duke (commemorated in the May 2004 Magnificat), in order to minister to their Catholic countrymen suffering persecution under Queen Elizabeth I. As the four were traveling across northern England, they were arrested and sent to a prison in Durham. Here, they ably refuted several Protestant ministers who had come to debate with them. All four priests were sentenced to death by hanging, drawing, and quartering. At their execution, four criminals condemned to die with them professed the Catholic faith before dying. There was so much sympathy for the martyrs among the onlookers that virtually no one shouted the customary salute, “God save the queen,” as the priests’ severed heads were shown to the crowd. Two Protestant onlookers, Robert Maire and his wife Grace, were so moved by the priests’ courage that they both became Catholics.


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