Abell, Thomas, Bl.

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Martyr; b. place unknown, toward the end of the fifteenth century; d. July 30, 1540. He was educated at Oxford (M.A., 1516), became a chaplain to Catherine of Aragon, and preached and wrote in her favor. When sent to Spain in 1529 at the time of the divorce question, he performed invaluable work on Queen Catherine's behalf. He was one of her counselors at the divorce trial and probably helped her in making her appeals against the jurisdiction of the Legatine Court. In 1531 he published his vigorous defense of Catherine's marriage, the Invicta Veritas. For this he was imprisoned, but was later released. In 1533 he was sent to the Tower because of his counsel to Catherine to persist in refusing the title of "Princess Dowager." His name was included in the attainder of 1534 against the Nun of Kent and others, but he had had no real association with the Nun. He remained in the Tower for more than six years, receiving appalling ill-treatment. He refused to acknowledge the royal supremacy and for this reason was attainted of treason in 1540. He was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Smith-field. He was beatified on Dec. 29, 1886.

Feast: July 30.

Bibliography: b. camm, ed., Lives of the English Martyrs Declared Blessed by Pope Leo XIII in 1886 and 1895, 2 v. (London 190405).

[j. e. paul]